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Georgian mountain guide – a profession with international status!

Georgian mountain guide – a profession with international status!

13/06/2022

Amateur and professional adventure seekers always agree that safety is very important. Freedom discovered among Georgian mountains is unforgettable and mountain guides play the main role in helping to fully experience this feeling and unequivocally they are safety guarantees too.

With the support of the EU, Sweden and Austria (In the frame of the GRETA project), mountain guides from Georgia’s mountainous areas improved their professional qualifications and, according to professional standards, they are now professional trail guides.

20 participants from Georgian mountainous areas interested in professional adventure tourism, classroom and practical trainings in management of easy, medium and complex adventure tours during all four seasons in accordance with European standards, new discoveries and as a result: contributing to development of adventure tourism, prospects for improving economic benefits and an opportunity to have the Georgian mountain guides recognized internationally in 25 countries.

“We have completed a long and interesting trail guide retraining course, which was based on European experience. Under the GRETA project financed by the EU, Sweden and Austria, the Adventure School was able to develop a training module for trail guides and implement the training in accordance with international standards. Now we can safely say that 20 graduates possess all necessary skills and can guide tourists along Georgia’s impressive hiking tours under any type of climatic and environmental conditions.” – Archil Tsintsadze, Head of Teaching Department of Adventure Tourism School, says.

Adventure tourism is one of the most important areas of interest for female residents of Georgian mountainous regions. Their interest was especially clear during the trail guide training course. Full engagement, successful completion of practical trainings in all kinds of climatic conditions and achievement of set goals was exemplary and motivated others as well. Adventure School students Vika Pilpani and Rusudan Varshalomidze share their experiences with us:

“With the support from the EU, Sweden and Austria, I, my friends and colleagues further strengthened our knowledge and acquired more practical skills required for such an interesting profession as trail guide. I personally hail from Svaneti and I believe that after this experience and receiving the professional certificate, my contribution to improvement of the quality of adventure tourism in Georgia will be noticeable.” – Vika says.

“Mastering mountain navigation and learning how to use navigation tools at a professional level were some of the most important topics for me. I believe it’s an important component as far as professional guide’s competencies are concerned. I’m happy to be part of this training program and to have reached the next stage of professional development” – Rusudan noted.

Project GRETA’s partner President of Adventure Tourism School David Rakviashvili tells us that students have learnt risk management, logistics management and tour planing under the project.

“They got the experience that will help them launch their own businesses. Besides, Georgia has received serious recognition as a result of gaining the prospect of entering the international markets as Georgian Mountain Guide Association became the member of International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations. Professional qualifications of 20 mountain guides are now compatible with international quality standards and statuses and that will be an additional motivation for international travelers to visit Georgia. Our nature and tourist offers are unique and at the same time now we have services that meet international quality requirements and standards. I really hope that when they say “Georgian mountain guide” that will be a trademark of quality and standard and that it will be an internationally recognized brand!”

Improvement of culture guides’ qualifications is another planned activity under the GRETA project funded by the EU, Sweden and Austria, participants of these future trainings will get the opportunity of achieving professional growth along with experiencing unforgettable adventures.

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The GRETA project | “Green Economy: Sustainable Mountain Tourism and Organic Agriculture” is co-financed by the European Union, Austria and Sweden, and is implemented in Georgia by the Austrian Development Agency. The project aims to facilitate the improvement of the business environment and increase opportunities for generating additional revenues in two such important sectors of Georgian economy as mountain tourism and organic agriculture. The project covers the regions of Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti as well as Upper Imereti; entrepreneurs from the municipalities of Mestia, Lentekhi, Tsageri, Oni, Ambrolauri, Sachkhere, Chiatura and Tkibuli are involved in the project. Find out more at www.gretaproject.ge 

This material has been produced with the co-financing from the European Union, Sweden and Austria within the framework of the GRETA project. Its contents are the sole responsibility of the GRETA project and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union, Sweden and Austria.

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