- Tourism is one of the priority sectors in Ajara with its high potential in the economy (33% of the total investments)
- Diverse nature offering wide varieties of tourism activities all year round
- Rapidly developing hospitality infrastructure
- International hotel brands represented in Ajara
- Intensive promotion of the region as all-year round tourist destination
- No license for operating a company in the tourism sector
- No license fee for opening casinos in hotels with more than 100 rooms
- No VAT on the revenue received from incoming tourists
TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
- Promotion of Ajara region and Batumi at international level
- Development of MICE tourism
- Development of Rural tourism
- Development of Cruise tourism
- Improvement of tourism products and services
- Creation and promotion of new tourism products
There are over 230 historical, cultural and architectural monuments in Ajara. Rich cultural traditions of local population, old churches and monasteries, museums, theatres, art gallery, and performances make the region attractive place for cultural and historical tourism.
Ajara is one of the best bird viewing locations as over 360 different bird species are recorded and observed there. Worldwide, only in Georgia is possible to see endemic bird species at one place such as: the Caucasian Black Grouse, Caucasian Snowcock, Caspian Snowcock and Caucasian Chiffchaff. Georgia also offers the opportunity to see around 20 endangered bird species. Ajara occupies the third place in the world in terms of the volume of raptor migration (800 000 annually).
The diversity of natural and cultural-historical elements is a good precondition for nature-based activities such as backpacking, fishing, horse-riding, hiking /climbing/mountaineering, diving, bird watching/dolphin watching. The protected areas of Ajara are home to wide diversity of flora and fauna, offering spectacular sceneries of unique coastal, forest and alpine landscapes and high diversity of native flora and fauna species all-year round.
Ajara protected areas covers 15% of its territory. They have been established to preserve unique ecosystems of temperate rainforest and coastal wetlands/peat lands.
- Kintrishi Nature Reserve
- Mtirala National Park
- Kobuleti Nature Reserve
- Matchakhela Protected Area
Unique flora, easily accessible subtropical and alpine zones, pure rivers, simultaneously green and snowy mountains create convenient conditions for horse riding tourism. This type of tourism has become especially popular recently among those who are lured by inimitable mountain scenery, flora and fauna, wild and ecologically clean environment. Horse-riding routes in Kintrishi and Skhalta gorges are especially significant.
Batumi Public Velo System offers a convenient, affordable and fun way of transportation that was introduced in April 2011. Batumi Velo is a great way for exploring the city and sightseeing. Local tourism service providers plan to offer bike tours to their customers. Bicycle lanes run along Batumi coast line and the streets of old city area; length of costal line road is 30 km from Makhinjauri to Kvariati. Users can hire bicycles from street terminals and return them at any other convenient locations, which are operating 24 hours.
Batumi has already become regional center for meetings and conferences on the international level. It is a suitable market for political, business, cultural and other types of events all year round.
Following cultural events are held annually in Batumi: “Black Sea Jazz Festival”, Symphonic Music Festival, international festival of the Animation Films “Tofuzi”, international festival of cinema “Biaff”, “Home-made wine festival”, “International children’s festival of folklore” Main traditional events held in different regions of Ajara are: “Kolkhoba”, “Shuamtoba’’, “Kedeloba” and “Machakhloba”.
SUN AND BEACH
Ajara is the main center of Georgia’s coastal tourism industry. Subtropical climate, warm sea with its health properties, seaside tourist and resort infrastructure, unique combination of the costal and mountainous climate create the best recreational conditions for tourists in Ajara. There are 5 sea resorts in Ajara: Kobuleti, Tsikhisdziri, Mtsvane Kontskhi (Green Cape), Makhinjauri and Batumi. Up to 50 km coastline is eligible for swimming and sunbathing.
Batumi and its surroundings offer attractive shore excursions. Gonio-Afsaros Fortress from 1st century B. C., the largest Botanical Garden in Europe, Batumi old city with its European architecture from 18 century, wide seaside promenade and beautiful squares bring out unique mix of time and culture. Great cultural experience, extraordinary hospitality of local population, exquisite wine and Ajarian cuisine will create lifetime memories for cruise passengers.
Winter climate and terrain in Ajara Mountains create suitable conditions for skiing. Tourists can ski; drive scooters, ride horses and sledge. Main ski resorts in Ajara are: Gomarduli, Kedlebi and Danisparauli. In 2011 government started implementation of Goderdzi Pass project (Four-Season Mountain Resort), and from December 2012 it already hosts tourists.