Georgia as Alternative Winter Holiday Destination for Ukrainians in Europe

Winter is coming and holiday destinations for Christmas are on everyone's mind again.

A Ukrainian media outlet has called Georgia as an alternative winter holiday destination for Ukrainians in Europe.

Ukrainian magazine Korrespondent published an opinion piece of tourism manager of the Dnipropetrovsk branch of the company Alfa Aeroturservice, Elena Kravtsova, who said that Georgia is a colorful, inexpensive, and visa-free alternative for those who would like to celebrate New Year in Europe.

Kravtsova highlighted that, unlike the EU countries, Ukrainians do not need a visa to cross Georgian border, and it cost a little less as well. All these make Georgia an attractive tourist destination for Ukrainians.

“However, many know it only as a summer resort - the Black Sea, the gentle sun, mountains and juicy fruits. But there is a no less charming Georgia in winter - Christmas, with bright glowing with garlands and storefronts, fireworks, festivities, just as in Western Europe,” she said.

Kravtsova said that Georgian’s have their national Santa Clause called “Tovlis Babua” [Snow Grandpa].

“Tovlis Babua dressed in national costume - black Chokha (top men's clothing with a high collar and sleeves with slits), a white cloak and Svan hat,” she said.

As the author emphasized, Georgians are celebrating Christmas especially, rather religiously.

“Alilo, as they call in Georgian, begins in different parts of the capital city Tbilisi, bringing flocks of people to the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. There are special staves holding banners and lanterns. Dressed in white robes, often from sheep skins, they symbolize the shepherds who with chants alerted all passersby about the birth of the Savior," she said.

In her opinion piece, the author underlines that Georgia has several ski resorts, which could compete for a lower price with European resorts.

“Local snowy slopes are specialized for different types of visitors. If you are family with children, or a beginner, it is better to go to Bakuriani, while for professionals and semi-professionals the best ski resort is Gudauri,” she writes.

Kravtsova also mentions the weak sides of Georgian tourism: the service and poorly developed public transport system.

“The minibuses that connect the settlements offer the minimum level of comfort, and taxis are not cheap or fun in Georgia,” she says.

Kravtsova also highlights road traffic works not being held up to international standards and Georgian drivers not following rules. Pedestrian should be careful when crossing the road.

Photo by Davit Cholokashvili.

09 November 2015 11:13
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