GEORGIA: WHERE THE PAST MEETS THE  FUTURE

GEORGIA: WHERE THE PAST MEETS THE FUTURE

In an interview, H.E. Mr Archil Dzuliashvili, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Georgia to India, explains how his country is emerging as an attractive tourist destination and what makes it extraordinary.

You have set up several Georgia Visa Application Centres in India. Has there been an increase in visits from India to your country?

Yes, there is definitely an increase in travel to Georgia. It is emerging as a popular destination for tourists who are keen to explore its natural beauty, rich history,  wonderful people and experiences that are on offer. In addition to tourism, the country has always been a popular destination for students, especially those in the medical field, with many top medical universities located there.

In fact, Georgian universities have been coming to India to conduct interviews for prospective students, and we have been working with VFS Global to facilitate student admissions as part of this process. So yes, it has been most gratifying to see Georgia emerge as a favoured destination for tourism and education.

What would you say are the must-see destinations in Georgia?

Summer in Georgia traditionally remains the most exciting period, when the country sees a maximum number of its tourists and international visitors. However, it is important for Georgia to grow into an attractive and interesting tourist destination for all four seasons. Besides summer months, the winter season destinations in Georgia are very popular among lovers of skiing, who can choose among four beautiful ski resorts – Gudauri, Bakuriani, Mestia and Goderdzi.

The highest mountain peak in Georgia is Shkhara, which is 5,200 metres above sea level. The old town of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia, is distinguished by cobblestone paths and charming historical structures that make you feel as if you have gone back in time by several centuries. Visiting the sulphur baths in Abanotubani district is a definite must-do when you are in the city. Georgia has a rich and very ancient culture and is a country where past meets future and ancient civilisation gives a strong impetus to the modernisation of the country.

The palaces, cathedrals and gardens in Tsinandali, Mtskheta (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Gelati (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Stepantsminda and many more, like Upper Svaneti (UNESCO World Heritage Site) and Tusheti regions are worth visiting for their stunning architecture and landscapes.

The country’s artefacts are well preserved in museums, which have a wealth of church treasures, particularly pre-Christian gold, art, photographs and archaeology. You can explore Vardzia, an ancient massive cave monastery, or spend a day-long wine tour in Kakheti, enjoy the coastal city of Batumi and the beaches of the Black Sea. Where else in the world can one ski on the mountain slopes and lay by the sea on the same day!

So there is a lot to explore in Georgia, you can come here any time of the year. In fact, I might add that this year is especially significant for us. On May 26, Georgia proudly celebrated Independence Day and the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first democratic republic.

How simple is the visa process for Indian travellers? How about for first-time travellers?

The visa process is fairly straightforward for all travellers as applicants can fill out the online application and submit it in person at any one of the VFS Global Visa Application Centres in five cities of India. This year, we opened more centres in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal for the convenience of applicants in those countries. With the support of VFS Global, we are looking forward to opening more centres in other cities of India as well.

How is the air connectivity between India, the UAE and Georgia?

Several airlines operate convenient flights to Georgia, such as Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Air Astana, Fly Dubai, Air Arabia, and Gulf Air, to name a few. So it is a fairly convenient passage for travellers, That said, efforts are being made to introduce direct flights between India and Georgia.

What is extraordinary about Georgia as a tourist destination?

There are so many extraordinary things to explore. Visitors can enjoy the stunning rugged scenery of the mountains and forests, the serenity of the beaches and its ancient and well-preserved historical monuments and rich culture. With its fertile valleys and massive grapevines, Georgia is also the oldest wine country in the world – where wine production has been going on for the last 8,000 years! Ancient Georgian traditional Qvevri wine-making method is on the List of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Georgia is a small country, but incredibly diverse in food and wine, that makes for an unforgettable experience for gourmets.

 What has been the highlight of your stay in India?

I have been in India for quite some time now, but however much time you spend here seems less. There is such a rich abundance of knowledge, culture and history that even a lifetime would fall short. I am thoroughly enjoying my time here and I look forward to immersing myself in the rich culture and heritage of India.

I hope to travel the country as much as I can. So far, I have managed to visit Goa, Amritsar, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Kochi, not just for work, but to explore and enjoy the culture and environment of those locations as well. I hope to visit more places soon and hopefully spend some more time here.

India holds a special place in our hearts since we share a sacred connection. Some of the relics of our sacred Saint Queen Ketevan were interred in St. Augustine’s Church at Goa by Portuguese Monks. Her relics were discovered during a joint archaeological excavation in 2006 and are currently on display in Georgia.

This year was especially significant, since it saw the participation of the Georgian Choir Ensemble ‘Aghsavali’ at the Third Ketevan World Sacred Music Festival, held in Goa and of the Georgian National Ballet, Sukhishvili, at Hema Malini’s Synergy, an Indo-Georgian Dance Fusion, in four cities of India. We hope to have many such cultural interactions in the future. In fact, I am confident that the ties between our two friendly nations will continue to grow stronger, especially since our relations are historically founded on rich cultural exchanges.

 

About author

TnH Global
TnH Global 3921 posts

Our platform is the most comprehensive, current and accurate content destination for tourism that also offers the opportunity to connect and network with quality buyers and sellers.

Name: TnH Global              Email: admin@tnhglobal.com

You might also like

Destinations

Dnata and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority partner to promote Abu Dhabi Summer Season across India

Dnata in partnership with Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has launched a roadshow across the country. The roadshow targets industry professionals, to highlight Abu Dhabi Summer

Reports & Survey

Models pose on airstrip during take off, DGCA orders inquiry says Report

While the information of location has not been divulged yet, DGCA sources said an inquiry has been initiated against the private plane and the group of models for flouting security

Latest

The Oberoi, Dubai recognized as Middle East’s leading luxury city Hotel

The prestigious World Travel Awards, Middle East, 2015 has voted The Oberoi, Dubai as ‘Middle East’s Leading Luxury City Hotel’ for the second year in a row at a ceremony

Latest

Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge Kenya wins at the 2017 Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards

Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge’s Kimana’s Women’s Group Economic Development Initiative has emerged the winner of the 2017 Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award.   The lodge won in the Community and Government Projects category

Trending

India has maximum women pilots in the world: Jayant Sinha

India has the maximum number of women pilots in the world, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said. “India is the country with maximum number of women pilots

Destinations

Taiwan: An island of alluring landscapes

A fascinating island, Taiwan is gifted with exotic landscapes among many things which in- clude rich culture, historical her- itage and varied cuisines. Taiwan is increasingly becoming popular among international

Transport

Air India ties up with banks to avail loans for 3 Boeing 777 planes

According to a PTI report, state-owned Air India has tied up with UAE-based First Abu Dhabi Bank as well as Standard Chartered Bank and Mashreq Bank to avail short-term loans

Slider

Learn how to Ski in the birthplace of winter tourism, St. Moritz

Snow-covered slopes sparkling in the sun, and a wide, high valley, bewitching in its multifaceted beauty, the glamorous St. Moritz, embedded in the inspiring Engadin valley, is a snow-sports paradise. Ski enthusiasts have

Trending

Northeast Indian Railway services to normalize from September 1

Train services between the Northeast and the rest of India is likely to normalize from September 1, railway officials said today. The rail link has been snapped since August 12

Destinations

Kenya launches e-Visas for travellers

From July 2, 2015, major changes in Kenya’s visa policy will come into place. Unlike in the past when Indians were able to get their visa on arrival in Nairobi

Travel Trade

Thomas Cook’s Centre of Learning delivers strongly on Skill Development and Employment Generation for the Travel & Tourism sector

18% Year on Year growth in generation of a skilled work force 75% of students employed leading to growth in job creation for the sector India is one of the

Latest

The Sukhothai Shanghai officially joins Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Small Luxury Hotels of the World announced its newest member hotel in China, The Sukhothai Shanghai, which is to open on 28th April. The official joining ceremony was held today at The Sukhothai

0 Comments

No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!