Tbilisi Travel Show 2017: Drive & Label – in Differences with Yerevan
Tbilisi travel show 2017 exhibition. Story by V. Papikyan
What we saw and what we compared in Georgia at Tbilisi’s “Caucasus Travel Show” 2017
Georgia and Armenia have the same goals in travel industry and both countries are competing in hiking, cultural, mountainous, ecological and agricultural tourism. Armenia hasn’t exit to the the sea and therefore no beach tourism available besides Lake Sevan’s shores where few hotels located. Thus the country uses its mountainous attractions and cultural heritage to wile tourists from around the world.
Georgia has more territory covered with forests, beaches, mountainous sights and highest peaks of Caucasus range. More diversity of nature and Black Sea shores let Georgia to develop variety of tourism segments with the support of government’s strategical projects and programs supported by third-party countries and companies.
Tourism development in Georgia and Armenia have Completely different logics։ Georgia more and more continues to invest on tourism involving huge investments from abroad, giving many priorities and privileges to famous hotel brands and letting small companies start travel business and open small hotels and guesthouses without paying taxes etc. Plus all this Georgia pays for it’s brand continuously working on it and makes creative labels for the country’s tourism industry. Armenian tourism is growing autonomous: It’s growth mostly depends on travel companies or individuals – their own promotions and their investments. Of course there are some exceptions with huge investments by Armenian businessmen in regions, i.e. Tatever project with the Europe’s longest aerial tramway.
Just a few comments…
All these are visible in travel exhibitions in both countries. What I saw in Georgia it’s the perfect branding and amazing “labeling” of the travel show called “Caucasus Tourism Fair (CTF)”. It had smaller area than Yerevan’s travel exhibition but had a perfect energy in it. It’s entrance was paid but there were a lot of tourists from Russia, Ukraine, Armenia and other countries. Participating companies were less than in Yerevan’s analog travel show, but they were “packed” with cute labels and noisy atmosphere. Companies and hotels on CTF were mostly present inbound/incoming tourism and local hotels or guesthouses. While it’s the opposite picture in Armenian show: mostly outgoing travel agencies, airline companies and just a few local hotels and brands working on incoming tourism in Armenia.
Why we have different results on tourism industry
If you ask my opinion I’ll tell you this: Georgian travel exhibition supported and organized by the country government and the Yerevan show organized just for the commercial goals and that’s why there are huge differences between two travel exhibitions with the distance difference of 240 km. And that’s why the neighboring countries have completely different types of progress in their tourism industry overall.