SW Associates, LLC: Sustainable Development through Tourism

Georgia – The Georgian Way – A New National Tourism Strategy

The Georgian Way — A Comprehensive Plan for Sustainable Tourism Development in Georgia

What: SW Associates and the America-Georgia Business Council (AGBC) were contracted by the US Trade and Development Agency to provide the Ministry of Economic Development of Georgia and the Georgian tourism industry with a comprehensive plan for sustainable tourism development in Georgia.  The focus of the plan was to develop a formal tourism strategy which would serve as a roadmap for economic growth in Georgia through sustainable tourism development.

The SW Associates and AGBC  Team conducted the following tasks:

Task 1 – Perform a detailed review and assessment of the policy, institutional  and infrastructure environment of the tourism sector.

Task 2 – Develop Baseline Analysis — This task addressed the question “Where are we going?”  We used the results from Task I to conduct a SWOT analysis of the country’s tourism assets.  In the SWOT, we analyzed the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of the tourism industry in Georgia. The results of this analysis formed the basis for a report which provided specific, detailed analysis of the products, regional competition, customers, markets and a preliminary, prioritized list of promising projects.

Task 3 – Prepare Tourism Plan — We developed a strategy document detailing longer range opportunities and linkages that could be catalysts for tourism and the economy. Included with this task was the preparation of a detailed Tourism Marketing and Promotion Plan, which mapped out target segments and markets and recommended activities for maximizing visitors and investments from those markets. We also established benchmarks for measuring the effectiveness of the recommended actions. The plan shall include both traditional and online marketing actions and tactics, as well as recommendations for improving Georgia’s image internationally and regionally.

Task 4 – Preliminary Environmental Impact Analysis — Based on the environmental impact assessment process reviewed earlier in the process, we made recommendations for improving the process.  We also made recommendations for environmental education and certification programs related to the tourism industry. Special attention was paid to programs such as the GreenGlobe21 hotel and destination certification programs and the Blue Flag program which help ensure clean and healthy coastlines.

Task 5: Determine Regulatory Impediments and Recommend Reforms

We made recommendations to address regulatory impediments to tourism development in addition to the analysis of the overall policy environment conducted earlier in the process.  We identified regulatory impediments to tourism development and provided alternative models for regulatory reform.

Task 6: Perform Development Impact Analysis

We conducted impact analysis in the following areas: Infrastructure, Human Capacity Building, Technology Transfer and Productivity Enhancement, Revenue and Employment.

The  National Tourism Strategy was produced and presented to public and private sector stakeholders in Georgia. The Tourism Department began implementing many of the recommendations in the strategy. Click here to register and download the file: {filelink=1}

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