Georgia Economic Security Program

Accelerating the growth of sectors outside of agriculture that show strong potential to create jobs, increase incomes, increase micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) revenues, and support diversification to more productive economic activities.

  • Client: United States Agency for International Development
  • Partners: DAI, Georgia National Tourism Administration
  • Project Duration: May 2019 – April 2024

Project Description

The purpose of the USAID Economic Security Program (ESP) in Georgia is to accelerate the growth of sectors outside of agriculture that show strong potential to create jobs, increase incomes, increase micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) revenues, and support diversification to more productive economic activities. The tourism sector has been prioritized for its tremendous potential within the country.

The program will achieve this purpose by improving the workforce, including professional, management, and vocational skill development; supporting new service and product development; strengthening cooperation between key sector stakeholders; and developing and co-funding partnerships that have catalytic impacts in these sectors. By accelerating growth in the tourism sector (among others), the USAID Economic Security Program will contribute to inclusive and sustainable economic growth and economic diversification for Georgia.

The call for action in tourism is strong. The public and private sectors realize that without quality upgrades and a trained workforce, Georgia will lose its competitive advantage in tourism, and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) will struggle to survive. Many of the donors currently working in Georgia have a mandate to focus on very specific regions of the country; particularly in high-value nature/adventure, food and wine, and cultural tourism. To differentiate the works of the ESP Program and ensure impacts are at scale, Solimar is focusing our work at the national level and utilizing an initial value chain assessment to understand what is currently being done within the regions and how it fits into the priorities of designated government agencies.

Major Activities

  • Desk Research, Program Planning, and Orientation: Identify and analyze relevant information already in existence to help strengthen and inform both the value chain assessment and on-the-ground meetings.
  • Value Chain Assessment and Destination Consultations: Coordinate with three key government agencies including the Georgia National Tourism Association (GNTA), the National Agency for Cultural Heritage Preservation, and the Agency of Protected Areas of Georgia (APA) along with the private sector and other regional tourism stakeholders to discuss the main challenges and opportunities for tourism.
  • Action Planning: Work with GNTA to organize a tourism action planning workshop to present the main findings from the assessment, validate the priorities, and develop detailed action plans for implementation
  • Component 1: Strengthen cooperation in targeted sectors including brokering the development of a Tourism Alliance as an umbrella federation of tourism associations to help them gain strength in numbers.
  • Component 2: Provide support for the design and implementation of activities geared to improving business competitiveness and performance
  • Component 4: Provide support and industry networks to help facilitate public private partnerships in the tourism sector, including with international and domestic tourism private sector, suggest potential resource partnerships with international organizations and private sector.

Anticipated Results

  • The development of sector associations, public-private dialogue and strengthened market linkages
  • Support to sector stakeholders to identify, prioritize and access investment
  • Improved MSME firm-level operations in productivity, sales and quality
  • Strengthened linkages among industry, government, and educational institutions and training programs for tourism to improve skills
  • Deeper public and private sector cooperation and engagement in the tourism value chain

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“We rely confidently on Solimar's deep technical experience and professionalism as tourism consultants. You always are exceeding our expectations.”
Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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