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Destination Svaneti and International Aid

Developing a tourism destination is a highly intricate undertaking, encompassing numerous sectors such as the local economy, infrastructure, workforce, public services, socio-cultural aspects, and the natural environment. Each of these sectors holds significant importance when striving to achieve strategic objectives. However, relying solely on the capacity of tourism industry actors or DMOs is insufficient to overcome the challenges of development. In light of this, international development aid programs play a crucial role in the advancement of Svaneti as a destination.

Various development aid programs pursue distinct objectives. The team of experts assigned to this strategy and action plan document conducted thorough investigations into programs supported by different donors, such as USAID, EU, ADA, GiZ, KfW, among others. They also engaged in meetings and consultations with senior staff members. To effectively accomplish the development objectives of Svaneti as a tourism destination, it is highly recommended to establish ongoing communication with specific programs. This entails understanding what Svaneti can offer and how to best leverage those offerings to benefit tourism destination development.

To facilitate effective collaboration and secure targeted support, it is highly advisable to establish a comprehensive database encompassing all development aid programs operating or intending to operate in the Svaneti region. By inviting these programs to consultation meetings and presenting them with the Strategy Objectives and Action Plans, a clear 'road map' can be provided for future partnerships and the direct sponsorship of specific activities.

The table below presents programs funded by several donors, which can directly impact tourism destination development. While the table above provides a glimpse into donor-funded projects, it is essential for local stakeholders to recognize that it may not present a comprehensive overview of all initiatives. To ensure a holistic approach to development, it is highly encouraged for local stakeholders to actively engage in seeking additional cooperation and collaboration with both donors and other relevant stakeholders, especially during the planning and implementation phases of the strategy action plan.

Program-Specific Objectives
Potential Opportunities
GiZ co-funded with SDC
Supporting Climate-friendly Forest Management
Improves the living conditions of rural households, promotes capacity development and cooperation between the government, private sector and population in energy saving technologies and non-timber forest use.
Installment and operation of energy efficient technologies for the small guesthouses, huts and shelters at remote destinations – along the mountain trails.
Green Economy: Sustainable Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture
Supports both Mestia and Lentekhi municipalities in developing sustainable mountain tourism (focus on mountain adventure) and mountain traditional agriculture by investing grants and providing technical assistance.
DMO development, co-sponsorship of international adventure sports events (Highlander, Freeride); Technical assistance in organizing study tours and training.
Private Sector Development and Vocational Education and Training in the South Caucasus
Strengthens the involvement of the private sector in vocational education and training, increases competitiveness of industry sectors with a high employment potential including tourism, wine, food, crafts, etc,
Vocational training for the tourism professions: guides, housekeepers, food providers, catering, guesthouse owners/managers, etc.
National Parks and Ecotourism
The Program provides technical assistance and training to improve the organizational capacity, tourism, and economic development of Georgia’s parks and nature/cultural monuments.
Share best practices of ecotourism operations and promotion; economic tools of concessions, park services, and land lease.
Business Development Service
The Program helps SMEs strengthen their ability to attract future private sector investment through improved business planning, financial management and reporting, and marketing.
Supporting MSMES in the tourism sector by using business planning and financial management best practices.
The Program targets agricultural value chains that show the most potential to generate revenues and create high-value jobs in rural Georgia, including the production and processing of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other horticulture products.
Preserve traditional agriculture and land-use that makes Svaneti a unique destination; Strengthen production of the traditional plants and species and culinary masterpieces.
Economic Governance
The Program improves economic governance and legal framework, and facilitated the elaboration of the new “Tourism Law '' that regulates legal status of DMO .
To safeguard their interests and leverage maximum competitive benefits, both the DMO and industry stakeholders played a proactive role in the elaboration process of the law.
Local Governance Support
The Program supports public and private partnership (including in tourism), makes effective and accountable local government.
Facilitate and co-invest public-private initiatives to improve living and recreational facilities.
Industry-led Workforce Development
The Program works with the private sector partners including in the tourism industry. Program co-invests and co-establishes training programs designed to lead directly to employment opportunities.
Professional education by supporting the opening of the adventure guides school/ATS international branch.
Economic Security Program
The program directs its support towards economic sectors with significant long-term potential. It specifically focuses on fostering growth in adventure tourism, cultural tourism, and gastronomy. Additionally, the program extends its assistance to intellectual services, light manufacturing, and creative industries.
Plan, organize and promote international events in adventure tourism (freeride, highlander, etc). Valorize economic values of the cultural and nature heritage.
Resilience Community
The Program supports the creation of grassroot opportunities for engagement between people living on opposite sides of the occupation line.
Assist grassroot initiatives connecting villages with the high tourism opportunities.
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