Europe’s new tourism hotspot and investment capital

31 Oct 2022 by BusinessTraveller
Batumi skyline at night

Georgia has enjoyed the tourism spotlight in recent years as people have begun to
discover the European nation’s incredible food, gorgeous landscapes and evocative

But there’s still much to uncover. Perched on the southwest tip of the country, the ancient
port city of Batumi has become one of the Europe’s most exciting emerging tourist
destinations. The pearl of the Black Sea has been inundated with tourism awards in recent
months, as the world starts to explore its many charms.

Batumi forest

Centuries-old architecture, grand piazzas, a magnificent seafront and stunning botanical gardens make Batumi one of the most attractive locations in the region, while modern architecture, high-end restaurants, and five-star hotel brands such as Hilton, Sheraton, Radisson, Wyndham and Marriott provide plenty of modern entertainment.

As the capital of Georgia’s Ajara region, Batumi provides a gateway to yet more of the country’s undiscovered delights. Four national parks lie close by – three with UNESCO World Heritage status – where nature lovers can enjoy a huge range of ecotourism activities from hiking and horseback riding to rafting and zip-lining. Wander through Colchic forests in mountainous Machakhela National Park or swim in the waterfalls of Mtirala. Alternatively, explore history and spy unique flora and fauna in Kintrishi and Kobuleti protected nature reserves.

Batumi cycling

Not only do the tourist temptations make Batumi an amazing place to visit – it’s a savvy place to invest. 

Statistics show Ajara’s tourism is bouncing back from the impact of Covid-19 faster than most places, with figures recovered to 95 per cent of pre-pandemic levels. This is partly thanks to a booming domestic tourism sector, but is increasingly being boosted by global travel led by strong interest from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Israel. 

In tandem with the burgeoning tourism sector, construction is a booming sector in Ajara, as high-end hotels and entertainment facilities flock to cater to growing numbers of tourists. In the Goderdzi mountain resort alone there are currently 20 high-end hotels being built. Batumi has also become the region’s centre of gambling, drawing in half a million casino tourists each year, with plans to develop sport tourism in the region also underway.

Batumi city day

Major investments in the area are a further testament to the city’s potential. Ambassadori Batumi Island is a huge project involving the creation of two artificial peninsulas and one island dedicated to ultra-modern wellness and recreation resorts.

Tourism aside, Batumi has earned its reputation as the number one business location in Georgia thanks to a number of factors. It’s prime geographical location as a coastal city is well served by excellent infrastructure, including an international airport, railway stations, port and modern roads. Images of the CBD in the last decade tell the story of rapid growth, with gleaming new skyscrapers lining the riverfront and spacious city boulevards.

Batumi port

Other flourishing industries include IT, outsourcing and retail sectors. The Batumi technopoark is one of the most prominent in the whole country, with a multilingual and highly educated local workforce providing a constant supply of quality labour for rapidly developing tech services such as blockchain. 

General ease of doing businesses is promoted through a healthy corporate environment that includes a liberal tax system, government assistance for both start-ups and SMEs, modern banking services for international transfers and loans, cheaper insurance than many other European countries, and a zero-tolerance attitude to corruption.

As a result, GDP growth from 2011 until 2020 was 11.5 per cent – with healthy double figures in economic growth expected for this year as well. Meanwhile, Foreign Direct Investments for 2022 are expected to increase by threefold from 2019.

Whether you plan to visit Batumi for its charming tourism delights, or reap the benefits of a thriving economy, your travels to Georgia’s upcoming star are sure to be a success.

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