Home Outbound International Batumi beckons Indians to explore its scenic blend of sea and mountains

Batumi beckons Indians to explore its scenic blend of sea and mountains

Mikheil Koplatadze, Deputy Chairman, Georgia Department of Tourism and Resorts, Autonomous Republic of Ajara

The Ajara Autonomous Republic of Georgia stands out for its natural beauty, local customs, traditions, gastronomy, seacoast, and mountains. The region’s main city, Batumi, is a must-visit on your sojourn to Georgia. TTJ had the opportunity to converse with Mikheil Koplatadze, Deputy Chairman, Georgia Department of Tourism and Resorts, Autonomous Republic of Ajara. This discussion, which took place on the sidelines of SATTE 2024, provided valuable insights into the distinctive features and attractions of the destination.

– Gurjit Singh Ahuja

Showcasing Batumi for the very first time in India and as a part of a 30-member strong delegation from Georgia, Mikheil expressed his joy at the opportunity to introduce Batumi to Indian audiences, emphasising the shared value of warm hospitality between the two nations. He highlighted the Georgian proverb, “Guest is a gift from God,” extending a heartfelt welcome to all visitors to experience the charm of Batumi.

Georgia’s Modern Gem

Located about a four-hour drive from the Georgian capital of Tbilisi or a 50-minute flight, Batumi is the most modern city in Georgia. It is a popular tourist destination known for its charming atmosphere, historic architecture, and scenic waterfront. The city has undergone significant development and revitalisation in recent years, making it a vibrant and attractive place for visitors. Mikheil mentions, “Many people call Batumi the Los Angeles or New Dubai of Georgia.” He adds, “We have a lot to offer the visitors; we have the sea with beautiful beaches; a 20–30-minute drive takes you to the mountains; we have beautiful lakes, waterfalls, wineries, restaurants, pubs, and clubs.”

One can visit Batumi all year round for business, vacation, or recreation. However, summers truly bring out the vibrancy of the destination. Batumi boasts a mix of architectural styles, including modern structures and buildings from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The cityscape is characterised by a blend of traditional Georgian architecture and contemporary design. The old and new Batumi blend perfectly with old and modern architecture, European-style squares, high-class hotels, and other attractions.

For adventure, Batumi offers much more for the raring-to-go, adrenaline-rush seekers, adventurous types, flyboarders, divers, paragliders, trekkers, skiers, and families. It has an aqua park, horse riding club, Ferris wheel, maritime cruises, cycling, and cinemas. The city also boasts a sophisticated nightlife with casinos and an array of performance and jazz music festivals.

Emerging Strong as a MICE Hub

Besides family vacations, Batumi is a perfect destination for high-profile international meetings, conferences, and weddings. Mikheil elaborates, “Batumi today has top hotel brands like Sheraton, Radisson, Hilton, Marriot, and more; these offer great accommodation options and venues for events, conferences, forums, and weddings. We have a great scope for MICE tourism, given our bouquet of offerings, and we also look forward to actively pursuing wedding tourism from India. As I understand, Indians organise great overseas destination weddings, and given our infrastructure, we are a perfect match to be strong contenders for seeking destination weddings from India.”

Mikheil further emphasises, “There is a great opportunity for us in the Indian market, and we are always open to discussing our support as a tourism promotion body to get large incentive groups, conferences, and events to our part of the world.”

A Feast of Culture and Cuisine

Batumi in the autumn allows travellers the opportunity to participate in two large events, Batumoba and the rural tourism festival, Gandagana. To mark these events, special markets come up, and many concerts, theatrical performances, and exhibitions take place. The Gandagana festival features special decorations representing Adjarian villages and displays a wide variety of fruits, local food, wine, and sweet delicacies.

Food and wine are at the very core of traditional Georgian life and hospitality. Adjarian cuisine is an inseparable aspect of Georgian cuisine, and dairy products are common ingredients in many dishes. Sweets also play an important role. Viticulture is essential to Georgian and Adjarian culture; around 50 different grape species grow in the region and are still used in wine production. Eco-tourism is another big opportunity, and there is a lot to offer, given the region’s great natural expanse.