Green Economy: Sustainable Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture (GRETA) in Svaneti, Georgia
- Client: Austrian Development Agency
- Partners: Caucuses Consulting Group
- Project Duration: January – September 2023
The Svaneti Region in the country of Georgia is home to the stunning Caucasus Mountains and boasts a rich cultural heritage, including authentic architecture tower houses and remote villages. This unique combination of natural and cultural assets offers a diverse palette of activities for potential visitors; from mountaineering and climbing to hiking, skiing, and whitewater rafting. However, the region faces significant challenges in balancing the potential for tourism development with the need to preserve and protect its environmentally sensitive areas and cultural and architectural urban sites.
To address these challenges, the Green Economy: Sustainable Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture (GRETA) project aims to develop a sustainable tourism destination in the region in partnership with Caucasus Consulting Group. Over a 12-month period, the project will create a tourism development strategy and action plan. This will involve an inclusive approach, with input from a wide range of stakeholders including representatives of the local municipality; Georgian National Tourism Administration, Private sector SMEs involved in tourism, and NGOs supporting tourism. The project aims to contribute to the conservation of protected regions and historical urban sites while improving the livelihood of residents and spreading knowledge of conservation-based tourism. The mission is to develop the Svaneti region into a pilot case example of a unique and sustainable destination for other mountainous communities in Georgia and the Caucasus.
Major activities will include:
- Analyze existing tourism products and infrastructure in the whole region and create a tourism potential analysis for new sustainable tourism product development, as well as improving the existing ones
- Establish an understanding of regional and local sentiments towards tourism development, including the broadest possible involvement of the local population to reflect their opinions, hopes and fears
- Closely cooperate with the Svaneti DMO to elaborate on the findings
- Cooperate with other relevant stakeholders, including local municipality, Georgian National Tourism Administration, Private sector SMEs involved in tourism, NGOs supporting tourism Formulate a 5-year Tourism Development Strategy and Action Plan (Destination Management Plan) for Upper Svaneti containing prioritized actions within an annual rolling program, identifying stakeholders responsible for their delivery
- Formulate a 5-year Tourism Development Strategy and Action Plan (Destination Management Plan) for Lower Svaneti containing prioritized actions within an annual rolling program, identifying stakeholders responsible for their delivery