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We would like to extend sincere appreciation and gratitude for everyone who collaborated in the process of creating the Svaneti Tourism Development Strategy & Action Plan. Developing this Plan would not have been possible without the information supporting the planning process, intellectual contributions of experts and engagement of various public authorities and private enterprise stakeholders actors. 

Special thanks to the:

  • Mayor of Mestia and City Council members

  • Mayor of Lentekhi and City Council members

  • DMO Svaneti and its supervisory board

  • GNTA - leadership and information analytic department Mestia LAG - local action group leadership

  • MTA - Mountain Trails Agency

  • RDA - Resort Development Agency

  • MDF - Municipal Development Fund of Georgia

  • NACHP - National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation

  • State companies and respected departments of the line Ministries responsible for energy, water-sanitation, solid waste and roads.


Svaneti Tourism Development Strategy and Action Plan


Austrian Development Agency
Green Economy: Sustainable Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture (GRETA) Office
Tbilisi`, Georgia



Caucasus Consulting Group LLC

Vano Vashakmadze, Director/co-founder Tel: +995 599578449

Caucasus Consulting Group is Georgian based consulting firm established in 2005 with the purpose to support international teams by contributing local expertise and practical knowledge needed for the successful implementation of the large international projects. CCG has extended network of the Georgian experts, that helps to create and manage multidisciplinary team of the experts needed for the integrated development. Successful planning of the Tourism Development Strategy and Destination Management needs complex approach that is why CCG is mobilizing experts pool covering infrastructure, energy, natural environment and socio-cultural aspects.

In a Joint Venture with:

Solimar International Inc.
3400 11th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20010
P: 202-518-6192 DUNS No. 780226101 Chris Seek, Chief Executive Officer

Solimar International brings decades of experience developing strategic documents and practical and result- oriented action plans throughout the world and including Georgia. We have been working to support the sustainable tourism development in Georgia for the last 12 years, previously with the World Bank supporting Regional Development Program and National Tourism Administration in drafting Tourism National Strategy and Action for 2015-2025, and currently working as a subcontractor on the USAID-Georgia Economic Security Program assisting GNTA to update their National Tourism Recovery Strategy, as well as provide support to Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) around the country by conducting extended trainings and strategic guidance. Solimar’s work in over 60 countries around the world including several destinations in mountain regions like Svaneti. We design and implement strategy development processes with careful attention to involve all stakeholders in the process to ensure buy-in and ownership.

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Vano Vashakmadze

Tourism Senior Expert, Team Leader

Ivane Vashakmadze brings more than 30 years of working experience in tourism sector as an international consultant for the development projects, having extended experience of practical operations as mountain guide, resort manager and business consultant. He has worked as a project manager and lead consultant for the international cooperation projects with various donor organizations and public institutions such as World Bank, USAID, EU, KfW, GiZ, SDC, ADA, WWF etc. Amongst the other specific tasks, he has been working on tourism sector national and regional strategies, institutional policy, protected areas (National Parks) and eco-tourism planning, cultural heritage management, tourism economic assessment and land use planning and urban planning, mountain resorts management and adventure tourism operations.


Datuna Rakviashvili

Adventure Tourism, Standards and Professional Education

Datuna Rakviashvili, mountain professional framework - Datuna has over 30 years’ experience in developing mountain tourism in Georgia in different capacities. He has co-founded and managed startup pioneers of Georgia’s adventure and sustainable tourism industry, such as Georgian Guide Service (1990 - 1994), Caucasus Travel Ltd (1991-1998), Georgian State Mountain Guide School (1994 - 1998), Georgian Mountain Guide Association (1998 - 2018), Adventure Tourism School (2015 - 2021); As an independent consultant, Datuna has worked on numerous tours-related projects, including developing Mountain Tourism Initiative (GNTA, MRDC), Mountain Tourism

Forum (GIZ), Sustainable Mountain Tourism Strategic Framework (ADA, GRETA), Public-Private Partnership Adventure Tourism School (MoES, MRDC, GMGA).

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Sylecia Johnston

Sustainable Destination Management

Sylecia Johnston, based out of Oregon in the U.S.A., is a Project Manager for Solimar International.  She holds a Masters in Tourism Administration specializing in Sustainable Destination Management from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She brings over a decade of experience helping organizations operate efficiently and creatively. Her career has led her to leadership and advisory board positions with Convention & Visitors' Bureaus and Destination Management Organizations (DMO), consulting for international inbound tour operators, coordinating multiple business accelerators and workforce advancement programs, and volunteering for non-profit organizations. 


Ia Tabagari

Tourism Industry Adviser, Product Development

based in Tbilisi, Georgia, Ia brings an extraordinary balance of skills to this region. Her academic background in anthropology drew her to working with the unique ethnographic regions of the Caucasus, and in particular working with remote communities in building tourism products. She has spent over twenty years working with global wholesalers at various international tourism marketplaces. She has worked extensively in the development of tourism in the region in conjunction with organizations as diverse as USAID, the EU commission, the World Bank, the Municipal Development Fund of Georgia, Georgian National Tourism Administration, the Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Education, Protected areas, etc.


Irakli Ugulava

GIS and Trail Planning

Mr. Ugulava has worked in GIS for more than 22 years using GIS in different applications , such as cultural heritage conservation and preservation, urban planning, transportation system design, agriculture, tourism infrastructure planning, natural disasters prevention, civil engineering infrastructure, cartography, GPS mapping, geodesy, land management and land cadaster. Today, he is a co-founder and managing partner of GOS company “Geoland” managing a team of 10 people to create technological cycle to produce GIS data using open source technologies - QGIS, PostGres SQL and PostGIS, mastering my SQL and Python skills using WebGIS to create map-based websites, using JavaScript and Leaflet. 

George Shikhashvili

Infrastructure and Architect

G.Shikhashvili is acting architecture and infrastructure projects local management, including number of large civil, medical, tourist and industrial facilities financed by private companies and development aid organizations with over the 30 years experiences. He is co-founder and managing partner of the Caucasus Consulting Group LLC. Acting as an architect and project manager G. Shikhashvili is representing CCG in the KfW financed programs such as GSIF 1 and GSIF 2 supporting to improve public Infrastructure in communities around BKNP (Borjomi Kharagauli National Park, 6 municipalities, 7.5 mil EUR), Tbilisi Tuberculosis Reference olaboratory, architect and project coordinator for Georgian based ANI ARCHITECTS for international Georgian- German multidisciplinary design team for the Tbilisi Land Use Master plan, EBRD funded Georgian Energy Efficiency Project (GEEP I) and the EBRD financed Rustavi Municipality Waste Management Program, KfW funded Pre-Feasibility Study - Sustainable Transport for the Cities of Batumi and Tbilisi, EBRD funded Tsetskhlaruli Reginal Landfill as consultant of Turkish based Contractor.

Chris Seek

Strategy Development Expert, CEO Solimar

Chris is the founder, president, and chief executive officer of Solimar International. Chris oversees the strategic direction of the sustainable tourism company while ensuring the organization’s work supports environmental conservation, cultural heritage preservation, and enhances the lives of local residents. Chris is a highly experienced destination marketing and sustainable tourism specialist who has developed and implemented dozens of tourism marketing consultancies and campaigns. Over the last 18 years with Solimar, Chris has applied his professional background in marketing and corporate social responsibility with his own personal travel experiences (more than 70 countries) to design marketing campaigns that provide tangible results to both our clients and targeted beneficiaries.


Nanuka Mikeladze

Researcher and Stakeholder Engagement Specialist

Mrs. Mikeladze is a young talent with four years of experience in project management and planning, project writing and fundraising, stakeholder engagement, and project implementation. Mrs. Mikeladze has been working as a Senior Project Specialist for tourism product development at the USAID Economic Security Program for the past 3 years. Mrs. Mikeladze has thus gained expertise in implementing numerous tourism-related projects in various regions of Georgia, including Mestia municipality. She was one of the organizers of Svaneti's Freeride Week and has vast experience working with various Svaneti stakeholders, including Mestia municipality and Svaneti DMO.


Guram Vashakmadze

In-kind Contributor,

Destination Development Advisor

Guram has been involved in mountain tourism and sports since early childhood. A bachelor's degree holder and former national ski team member is now engaged in tourism development in the mountainous areas of Georgia. Guram was one of the key members of the organizing committees of the Bakuriani 2023 FIS Freestyle, Freeski and Snowboarding World Championships  and Freeride World Tour Qualifier events in Georgia as a person in charge of the technical execution of top-level winter sports events. He has numerously received official appreciation from the International Ski Federation for his work. Furthermore, Guram, as an external consultant of the Austrian Development Agency, contributed to the growth of the Svaneti DMO-ShanLand, turning it from an early-stage organization into a significant regional stakeholder in the tourism sector. Guram is one of the few local experts with in-depth knowledge of the Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) and their respective structures. Guram is one of the few local experts with in-depth knowledge of the Destination Management Organizations (DMOs) and their respective structures

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