In the Republic of Georgia, one is expected to come across a rather old-fashioned city, still in its Soviet state, and one discovers, pierced by a long Haussmannian boulevard, a capital where buildings with neo-classical architecture meet with other constructions, modern, even futuristic, and some UFOs such as the Peace Bridge, illuminated at night by thousands of LEDs, or the New Theater, a sort of cylinder of glass and metal.
Stuck between Russia in the north, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey, Georgia has been independent since 1991 and has many assets, especially its mountains, details Antoine Bardon, president of the French Chamber of Commerce. Georgian (CCIFG):
“The summits are relatively high and guarantee to have minimum snow 2-3 months per season, given the global warming. With the northern Alps, Georgia will remain one of the few places where you can ski. “
A good three hours drive from Tbilisi, due north, in grandiose landscapes, close to the Russian border, the view of Mount Kazbek, a giant height of 5,047 meters, is admired. Several French companies are also in the ranks to build and develop winter sports resorts in Georgia. With nearly five million visitors last year, tourism is Georgia's largest source of revenue, with 20% coming from this sector.
French tourists are currently only 20,000 per year to venture on these lands of the former USSR, but this will change predicts Diego Colas, the new ambassador of France in Georgia: “European tourism is increasing year by year, and I feel that everyone I meet in France has gone to Georgia, wants to go there, or plans to go there. .
Many groups or SMEs are already present here, such as Accor, which plans to open no fewer than seven new establishments by 2023, a 20% increase in its hotel stock each year.
Antoine Lhuguenot, director of the future Tbilisi Pullman: “There is really a craze, it is a country that is worth the trip, the inhabitants are very nice, there are many things to discover, from an artistic and cultural point of view.The Georgian civilization is very old, with a gastronomy and very good wines, and especially endemic grape varieties, which exist only in Georgia.There is also a diversity of landscapes “.
French tour operators are also interested in the destination, less than four hours flight from Paris, as Michel Salaün, director of the French tour operator Pushkin Tours :
“We have been planning for a few years the Grand Tour of Caucause, with a combined Georgia – Armenia – Azerbaijan with 250 customers per year, but Georgia alone is worth the trip.” Provided also that the service improves: there are today only two direct flights per week between Paris and Tbilisi, four in the summer.
Write to Antoine Bardon: firstname.lastname@example.org
Go to Georgia with Pushkin Tours. The French tour operator proposes a circuit “Armenia and Georgia, the memory of the world” from 12 days / 11 nights full board and a tour “Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan -The Great Caucasus Tour” 15 days / 14 nights full board.
Info and reservations on 02 98 73 76 38
Find this column on the website and the international mobility magazine French abroad.fr