The Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards is an Annual Awards Ceremony which has been held in Georgia for the field of tourism and hospitality since 2015. The main mission of the project is to encourage the tourism and hospitality industry in Georgia and promote awareness of the high-achieving tourism business and brands that create a positive image for the country worldwide. The 8TH Official Ceremony of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards was held on February 28. To find out more, GEORGIA TODAY talked to Maryna Chayka, the founder of Welcome to Georgia!
“I came from Ukraine and brought the project Welcome to Georgia – The National Tourism award, which is held every year. This year was the 8th ceremony, which was also successfully held, the project was not stopped either during the pandemic or during the war in Ukraine. Although there is a war in my country now and it’s a hard time for me, I’m involved as much as possible in the Ukrainian charity campaign and project, and I think it’s my duty to be strong and do everything from here for my country that I can. Thus, to this day, I am actively involved in supporting my country.
This Awards Ceremony is an opportunity to bring together national and local hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, wine companies and more. It is for the Georgian tourism and hospitality industry, and is a reason to celebrate Georgian heritage, culture, traditions and modern achievements. The Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards is a good challenge for companies working in this field and should motivate them to increase their creativity and experience in providing the best service. The Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards is an elite honor that is awarded to the very best members of tourism in the country.”
Tell us about the supporters of the project.
Official supporters and general sponsors of our National Tourism Awards – Welcome to Georgia! are both private sector and government. They support us because we are doing a great job for Georgia and our project really motivates the business sector. I’m grateful that the government is helping us. The past years have clearly shown me who wants to be our supporters and wants to continue this project. So it means a lot to me. George Sharashidze is also a supporter, a person who understands the value of Georgia and knows how important this project is for this country, supporting from very first years of these awards.
Tell us about the nominations and jury members.
We have various nominations, such as the best travel agency in Georgia, the best wine maker award, the best photographer award, the best bar award and so on. To participate, you need to choose a category of the Welcome to Georgia! National Tourism Awards nominations and register. Then you fill in all fields, submit it to the organizers and sign an online agreement.
Jury members are experienced and professional people in the tourism sector. It’s also important that our IT team pays attention to ensure that each vote is fair and genuine. This year’s project was different. This year we decided to make the nominations more personalized. To reveal and appreciate the people on whom the success of the companies themselves stand. With this year’s change, we have taken a step and in the future we will improve these nominations even more, although we will not forget the old ones, and I hope that we will make the awarding even more interesting with a joint synthesis.
One of the best parts of this project is that nobody knows the result of the ceremony until it ends. So it’s really a surprise for all participants. You can see their reactions; how happy they are. This is the biggest motivation for us to continue this project and appreciate the work to the tourism sector of Georgia.
By Mariam Mtivlishvili