Posted by: John | August 13, 2008

Georgia: what now?

It’s good to see Ukraine contributing money to Georgia. After all, they know Russian aggression too.

The main thing will be to ensure Georgia can maintain her borders outside Abkhazia and South Ossettia – then let these areas go through a diplomatic process.

There then needs to be a vision for Georgian development. There are many things in Georgia’s favour:

1. A strong seperate culture including great food, own language, great wines, traditional dancing etc

2. A democratic government

3. Georgia is on the same longitude as Athens – thus the weather is good

When i visited i felt i was in the `France of the caucuses`. This was where wine was first produced and the cuisine was second to none. While many people flock to Greece and Italy for the deeply-laden cultures many do not realise that other countries also compete in this sphere.

My proposal would be for Georgia to have a vision based around some sort of selective tourism – taking in Tbilisi, the churches, Stalin Museum, wineries and the beaches to the west. These could be twinned with time in Armenia, an equally fascinating place.

I know that the Government there has other things on its mind – but can outside influences push these things along?

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Responses

  1. Tourism can do great things for the economy. The only problem is when the Russians next decide to use their aggression. Being depedent on tourism is risky as the industry is so fragile. For example Lebanon built up tourism and this was crushed after the war with Israel.

    But certainly Georgia needs a vision for the future.

  2. Yes there needs also to be some sort of peacekeeping force and an agreement with Russia to allow Georgia `proper` to grow and not have fear of more aggression.

    It will have to start, as ever, with the backpackers – Georgian authorities could hardly do worse than appeal to them at travel events.


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