Report on theactivity of the Department of Tourism and Resorts of Ajara for 3 years27 November 2015
Tourism development remains a priority for the Autonomous Republic of Ajara, as evidenced by the 60% increase of the Department of Tourism budget since 2012. The number of targeted tourism markets has also been increased, thus in 2015, 10 target countries have been selected for promotingthe tourism potential of Ajara region.
As a part of the program which supports the development of tourism in the region, a strategic development plan of the Department of Tourism and Resorts of Ajara was prepared for the period of 2015-2018.
In recent years, active marketing activities have been carried out in the international tourism markets. The Department of Tourism annually promotes tourism potential of Ajara by participating in about 25 international tourism exhibitions and other promotional events. Over the last 3 years, 81 media tourswere organized by the Department of Tourism. As a result of these media tours, the tourism potential of the region was introduced to 786 experts from different sectors of tourism. The results are really impressive, for only this year more than 100 promotional articles, stories and posts have been published in different media.
The Department of Tourism is always concerned about the availability of all the necessary tourist information and an increase in the range of travel products. During summer period of 2015, a hot line and 8 tourism information centers were available for tourists, some providing a 24-hour service. During the period of 2013-2015, the Department was able to develop and mark 15 new tourist routes.
In 2013, the Department of Tourism developed a new official website in three languages - www.goBatumi.com, which contains a variety of useful information for tourists and is compatible with new mobile devices. In recent years, online promotion of the region has beenundertaken using social media tools and information technology, as a result of which the Facebook page of the Department of Tourism has reached around 410 0000 views per month.
The Departmentof Tourism annually provides free training courses, involving foreign experts. In order to improve the service level in private sector of the region, professional trainings in various areas have been provided for 750 people during the last 3 years.
Along with the implemented measures to stimulate the growth of tourism in Ajaraby local authorities, a positive trend has been seenin the private tourism sector as well, which is expressed in the growth of new catering and accommodationfacilities. In 2012, 10 367 accommodation places were registered across the region, where as in 2015 there were already 14 828 accommodation places registered, demonstrating a 43% growth.
The number of international tourists to the region is increasing every year,but according to the existing methodology,the growth would reach an average of 10%. For more accurate statistics, the Department of Tourism has developed a new method of statistical research, which includes the collection, processing and further analysis of statistical data in registered and unregistered sectors. In addition, the study of the tourist market, including the analysis of the domestic consumer market and surveys of foreign tourists.