Georgia is to host an International Forum of Innovations for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry this fall. This comes after a memorandum of understanding that was signed between the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, the Copenhagen based Creative Business Cup, and CBC Georgia on January 23, at Techo Park Tbilisi. The MOU focused on organizing an upcoming large-scale innovation forum, together with a ‘start-ups competition’ and the possibility to bring investors from the hospitality industry together. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Dimitry Kumsishvili, First Vice Premier, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Rasmus Tscherning, Founder and Executive Director of Business Cup Foundation, and Gela Suli, Founder and Director of Business Cup Georgia.
Following the Memorandum of Understanding, Georgia is to host the final round of the competition of innovations for the hospitality and tourism industry and the investors’ forum in October 2018. The competition, which is set to run annually by The Creative Business Cup Foundation from 2012, is set to reveal the winners of high-tech start-ups from different categories. For the first time this year, the decision was made to organize a competition in a single sector of the hospitality and tourism industry, as Georgia was chosen to be the host for the final competition round, as a country of popular tourist destinations.
While many of the Georgian start up’s and students of a number of higher education institutions gathered at the memorandum signing ceremony, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, Dimitry Kumsishvili, highlighted the importance of innovative projects to be initiated in the hospitality sector of the country, which, according to the Minister, is a great generator of income, and creates additional employment opportunities. He then gave an example of several tech start-ups that initiated massive changes in the hospitality industry. “I think that Georgian start-ups too have a huge potential in that direction, not only in Georgia, but globally,” Kumsishvili stated.
“Hosting an International Forum of Innovations for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in Georgia is hugely important for us. All the best innovative ideas generated in the hospitality industry globally will be discussed in Georgia during the forum, whilst on the other hand, it will give us the possibility to organize competitions in the country, fostering new ideas. Overall, this will bring our country improved and better services that we could offer to our tourists,” Dimitry Kumsishvili commented, after the memorandum signing.
“Our goal is to transform Georgia into a tourism mecca, both in the region and globally, and this project will help put Georgia on the map as a major center for new ideas and innovations” George Chogovadze, Head of National Tourism Administration of Georgia said.
“With the initiative of the Georgian government and involvement from our part, we try to bring start-ups to Georgia, in the most competitive sector, which is, of course, the tourism industry. Start-ups with new, innovative ideas will be arriving to Georgia, and together with them and the investors, we’ll have a chance to establish a tradition of gathering all of them every year, in the month of October” Gela Suli, Founder and Director of Business Cup Georgia commented.
Georgian businessman Guja Narimanishvili have also introduce his product, a mobile tourist application called Travel Guide, as the attendees of the event will have a chance to get acquainted with an innovative prototype created by the Georgian company VREX Immersive, a device that offers potential tourists to see the tourist destination virtually and then, if they like what they see, they will be able to book their trip. As Dimitry Kumsishvili noted, these devices will soon be available at the tourism information centers across Georgia.
Every November, CB Foundation organizes a huge international event for creative start-ups called Creative Business Cup, in which businesses from over 65 countries, leading international companies and investors participate.
Within the International Forum of Innovations for Hospitality and Tourism, numerous masterclasses and boot camps are planned to be organized, together with project competition and investor screenings. The local and international businesses set to attend the forum will have the possibility to invest in the projects take their interest, and implement them internationally.
The Memorandum signing ceremony was also attended by Giorgi Zviadadze, Director of Innovations and Technology Agency and businessmen Saba Kiknadze.