Between 4-9 March 2008, CBDN brought together different tourism operators and experts from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia, as well as Nagorny Karabakh, to build the capacity and infrastructure of the tourism sector and help brand the region to the world as an attractive tourist destination. The initiative consisted of an Info Tour and a first-ever South Caucasian Tourism Forum in Batumi, Georgia’s Black Sea resort.
During the Info Tour field trip in western Georgia, the participants studied the economic potential of tourism and explored how their businesses could work together in cross-regional tourism initiatives. Apart from a wide range of site visits and business meetings, the delegation engaged with local media and authorities, promoting tourism sector development and cooperation in the region. The trip also gave an opportunity for the tour operators to receive a feedback from the visitors themselves, who are the primary target group for western Georgia’s tourism sector.
The concluding regional Tourism Forum engaged a wider audience, including local authorities and media, and generated a number of concrete ideas for further cooperation. They included activities such as tourism initiatives across conflict divides, joint-mountaineering expeditions and advocacy initiatives to improve the capacity and infrastructure in the sector.
The initiative generated a huge amount of interest not only among the participants but also among a wider audience. CBDN is currently engaged in taking its work on tourism to the next level.