On 7 July ReforMeter, the USAID Economic Governance Program, and the Tourism Institute jointly hosted a public-private dialogue to discuss the progress of tourism reform with local stakeholders in Batumi, Georgia.
The meeting included an assessment of the reform and a review of the planned changes within tourism law, those which help coordination at the national and regional levels, diversify the offers the sector provides visitors, ensure high-quality tourist services, and develop a standard for protecting consumer rights and safety.
The public-private dialogue was launched with opening speeches from Archil Chikovani, the Mayor of Batumi; Tite Aroshidze, the Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of the A.R. of Adjara; Tinatin Zoidze, the Chairman of the Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara; Maya Omiadze, the Head of the National Tourism Administration of Georgia; and Tamila Shabashvili, the Chief of Staff of the Sectoral Economy and Economic Policy Committee of the Georgian Parliament.
During the first part of the meeting, the ReforMeter team presented results from the initial assessment of the tourism reform. Thereafter, two major topics were discussed in the second part of the event: (1) the results of the regulatory impact assessment (RIA) on local tourism fees, as presented by Giorgi Giorgobiani from the USAID Economic Governance Program, and (2) the findings of a study on the attitudes of Batumi and Kobuleti accommodation facilities regarding the imposition of a tourism tax, presented by Mamuka Berdzenishvili from the Tourism Institute.
The meeting was attended by representatives of those local agencies involved in the development and implementation of the reform, associations working within tourism, and from the civil and private sectors who discussed the expected results of planned changes within the framework of the reform, all in the format of a public-private dialogue.