doesn’t see a decline in the number of tourists. The number of Russian visitors
has significantly decreased, but not the total number and I don’t think that someone
can’t pay a loan due to this, ” Maya
Sidamonidze, the former head of the National Tourism Administration, says
commenting on the government’s initiative to help small and medium-sized hotels pay bank
Ministry of Economy has taken this decision owning to a reduction in the number of Russian tourists caused by Russia’s travel ban. The criteria for selecting the hotels that will be included in the list of the beneficiaries are not yet specified as well as the amounts to be allocated and the sources.
“I oppose such initiatives, and I don’t hail the idea of subsidizing loans, as the state is not obliged to help the private sector because businessmen must objectively assess risks. The state should not pay loans instead of the private sector сausing the businessmen to lose responsibility and motivation, ”she notes.
Sidamonidze believes that only small and medium business sees losses from Russian tourism while big business and the entire tourism industry don’t face any probelms.
“What hotel can be considered small? How will the losses be assessed, who will count them, what funds can be allocated under this initiative? To all these questions, there are no answers yet, ” the former head of the National Tourism Administration points out.
In Sidamonidze’s opinion, instead of spending these funds on subsidies amid the Russian embargo, the government should spent them on advertising Georgia’s tourist potential in new markets.
“Subsidizing is a Soviet relic, it kills and deprives business motivation. The money must be spent on attracting tourists from other countries, ” Maya Sidamonidze stresses.