Keen to attract more Indian visitors, Batumi in Georgia to increase activities in Indian market

Interview: Mikheil Koplatadze, Deputy Chairman of Department of Tourism and Resorts of Ajara A.R Georgia
/ New Delhi
Mikheil Koplatadze - Head of International Tourism Promotion Office - Batumi Georgia
Keen to attract more Indian visitors, Batumi in Georgia to increase activities in Indian market

Batumi is the touristic centre and modern face of Georgia with lots of festivals, lots of concerts and a lot of activities

Located on the western fringe of Georgia, on the Black Sea coast, Batumi is Georgia’s second largest city and a major tourist attraction due to the diversity of tourism experiences that the city and its vicinity offers. In an interview, Mikheil Koplatadze, Deputy Chairman of Department of Tourism and Resorts of Ajara A.R Georgia tells India Outbound that Batumi is keen to enhance its activities in the Indian market in order to receive more Indian visitors.
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What is Batumi tourism planning for 2024 in the Indian market? 

First and foremost, we are very happy that it is an honour that we are represented in such an exhibition, and we are in India in this beautiful country with the great history. And we can say that first thing that is a very good route for development of tourism is the hospitality that is there in the Indian people as well as in Georgians. And by the way, when we ask tourists what do they remember after visiting Georgia, all they say that they remember unique emotions and those unique emotions are created by people. 

We want to talk about Georgia as a country and we should underline the Batumi-Adjara region.  We have lot of attractions and lot of activities products and services that could be very interesting for Indian market. Mountainous places, cultural places, heritage, wine, amazing cuisine, ski resorts even protected areas. So in one region around the Batumi city there is everything. We think that India could be very interesting target market for Georgia. We will plan a lot of interesting activities.

And today we are represented at this exhibition as a public sector, like tourism administration, tourist department of Adjara region, DMOs and private companies as well. It means that there is lot of interest from Georgia to India and vice versa. In future, if we see that this is developing, we will plan offline and online marketing campaigns. For example, we are now organising media trip to Georgia from India to bring high level journalists and bloggers. And we are going to participating in the tourist exhibitions, not only in Mumbai but we are discovering other cities as well. 

khachapuri adjaruli

Georgian cuisine is a key attraction for visitors

We have a lot of projects that we are going to do in Georgia. For example, what could be interesting is ecotourism and also MICE tourism. By the way many people are asking about how they can organise events and weddings, for example, in Georgia. Batumi is an amazing place for it because we have all international brands like Sheraton, Hilton, Radisson and Marriott. Hence in Batumi there are many great venues for organising upscale events. 

Are you also planning some roadshows in India? 

Exactly, so we can say that it’s a first step to participate in an event like SATTE and in future, we will do the roadshows and we will do FAM trips from India. So we are going to do a lot of activities because I think that we have the great opportunity to develop tourism between our countries. 

Wine tourism is a key segment for you. How do you want to promote that? 

For sure, when we will do some roadshows and there could be some wine demonstrations as well because you know that Georgia is a cradle of wine and Georgian wine making tradition dates back 8,000 years and is protected by UNESCO. And you can see the unique wine types all around Georgia. And especially in Adjara region we have two types of unique wine, one is a chkhaveri and Tsolikouri. So, there’s a lot of opportunity for developing the wine tourism and we have amazing cuisine. 

How many tourists did you have last year and what is your target this year? 

Only in Adjara region and Batumi we have like two-three million international visitors and we should underline the income from tourism is about USD 4.5 billion. So it is a huge number for such a small country. This year, we are targeting around 10 million visitors globally. 

By the way we have very good and increasing numbers from India. For example, if you compare 2019 it was approximately 14,000 visitors from India and in 2023 we had about 25,000. So, as you see the increasing number is quite good. And last year, there was the direct flight starting from New Delhi to Tblisi by Indigo. We hope to see direct flights to Batumi as well. It is important because Batumi is the touristic centre of Georgia and modern face of Georgia with a lot of festivals, lots of concerts and a lot of activities and a very interesting night life.

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