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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Sep
04

Pavlovian Priests and the Sorry State of LGBT Rights in Georgia

According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, the word gay refers to cheerful, lively and high spirited person. The LGBT Prague Pride Parade, which I was fortunate to observe on my recent visit to Prague, lived to the very definition of the word. What I saw was fabulous: unicorns and countless rainbow colored flags, balloons, and thousands of exalted people dancing and singing in the middle of Wenceslas Square. The parade was bristling with so much enthusiasm and happiness that I, quite instinctively, was sucked in and followed the procession.  Prague ...
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Apr
24

Let Tourists Arrive and Georgia Thrive!

After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was believed that tourism might become one of Georgia’s “locomotive” sectors. While the Shevardnadze government failed to develop this potential, after the Rose Revolution, tourism became a top priority. Each year since 2005, the direct effect of tourism (i.e. the money spent by tourists) alone has contributed 6-7% of Georgia’s total GDP. Georgia is a net exporter of services, and tourism accounts for about 60% of these service exports. This is important income for the country, helping to finance the country’s la...
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Mar
20

All the Roads Lead to Tskaltubo

FROM BADEN-BADEN “Roulette until six in the evening. Lost everything”, notes Leo Tolstoy on July 14, 1857. He did not pen these words in Moscow or St Petersburg”, writes Elizabeth Neu. “It was in Baden-Baden that Tolstoy closed his diary with a sigh that night.” “Tolstoy was not the only literary genius to have travelled thousands of miles from Russia to take the waters and enjoy the thrill at the roulette tables… and to leave with empty pockets. They all flocked here: the great realist Ivan Goncharov and the enthusiastic young ballad rhymer Vasili Zhuko...
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Guest — megiddo02
Interesting article. Ms. Bochorishvili in her "interview" (there are not many questions asked by the interviewer) speaks quite a l... Read More
Thursday, 16 April 2015 12:12 AM
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Oct
24

Tourism and Rural Development: The Case of Tusheti

In Georgia, it’s often said that tavisupleba mxolod mtebshia – freedom is only in the mountains. Indeed, the mountains have long shielded the small Georgian nation from much larger invaders, helping it maintain its freedom, as well as its unique culture, language and faith. Even today, getting into Georgia’s mountains is no easy task. Separated from the ‘mainland’ by the 3,000m high Abano pass, Tusheti, is an excellent case in point. The sheer ‘outworldliness’ of Tusheti, as well as its well-preserved indigenous traditions and architecture, are a powerfu...
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Guest — Zurab Garakanidze
There is a huge potential for the development of the trekking tourism in Georgia in general, and in Tusheti particularly. We have ... Read More
Sunday, 26 October 2014 7:07 AM
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Sep
05

Kazbegi Rooms: with a View to Improvement of Regional Development Policies

When planning a debate about the impact of the new Rooms hotel on the local community in Kazbegi we expected it to be a mixed bag. A colleague who visited Kazbegi Rooms on a private reconnaissance mission told us how much he enjoyed his stay, but added: “for some reason, the relationship between the hotel and the villagers is best described as complex”. As economists, we assumed that Rooms would be a major employer of locals and so the only issue could be competition for tourists between the hotel and the local bed & breakfast providers. And as is of...
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Recent Comments
Guest — AP
Great piece!
Friday, 05 September 2014 3:03 PM
Guest — Hans Gutbrod
great piece, Eric. Hopefully lessons will be learned...
Friday, 05 September 2014 4:04 PM
Guest — William Dunbar
Nice piece, but Kazbegi is on the Tergi (Terek), not the Aragvi
Friday, 05 September 2014 5:05 PM
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Nov
08

Travel and Tourism to Georgia: Making Sense of Definitions and Numbers

Travel and Tourism is one of the largest and fastest-growing service industries globally. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the industry’s direct contribution to World GDP in 2012 was US$ 2.1 trillion (2012 prices) and it supported 101 million jobs. Taking account of its combined direct and indirect impacts, WTTC assesses Travel & Tourism’s total economic contribution at 9% of World GDP in 2012, 1 in 11 jobs, 5% of total economy investment and 5% of world exports (Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism 2013, Annual Update, WTTC...
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Guest — RaTi Kochlamazashvili
Hello,When you're saying that the share of tourism industry in the World GDP is US$ 2.1 trillion (nominal, 2012 prices) and suppor... Read More
Monday, 18 November 2013 3:03 PM
Guest — Giorgi Bregadze
Hello, Thank you for your remark. Please pay attention that here we are talking about "direct" contribution not "total". Source:... Read More
Friday, 22 November 2013 6:06 PM
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