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With EU and Tsalka LAG support a modern hotel opens up in centuries-old Tsalka

If you are the kind of traveler who likes to revel in the beauty of rocks and mountains, in the powers that nature supplies, all the while having the convenience to rest in comfort at the end of the day, then it is time to take the road to Tsalka.

The multi-ethnic locals, those “watchmen” of archaic churches, shrines and castles, are waiting wholeheartedly for comfort-loving travelers; if you are still hesitant, take my word for it – Tsalka will steal your heart!

Whether on a short visit or a long trip, we always seek to enjoy an original relation to the surroundings, and to make best use of our time. Tsalka Municipality, replete with charming landscapes, makes such an experience more than possible. And now more than ever.

Temur Mgeladze, a local, recently received funding through a grant competition supported by the European Union’s ENPARD program, for the opening of his well-equipped, three-floor hotel, Home +, in the area near the Dashbashi Canyon, which belongs to Tsalka Central Square. Here, in addition to a pleasant environment, visitors can benefit from guide and pick-up services.

“Because modern and well-equipped hotels are quite scarce in the municipality, we decided to fill the gap in the market. Receiving funding has made our dream a reality. In addition to financial support, the project representatives supported us even in minute details,” Mgeladze says.

Proficiency in English and Russian languages, as well as a good knowledge of the must-see sights, are some of the assets that help Temur run his project. All rooms in the hotel have a kitchen, but should guests prefer, they can also use the food service. Besides Temur, two others are also on hand to host you at the hotel.

It is true that travelers are fond of unique places, which Tsalka undoubtedly is, but the region is not commonly included in tourist routes. That the place abounds with opportunities, and the perpetual presence of sublime nature, is evident for anyone who has visited. With the financial support of the EU, Tsalka Local Action Group (LAG) and CENN work together in Tsalka Municipality to awaken this very potential; to enhance the socio-economic situation in the region through implementing various projects, working on strategies and determining priority directions.

A total of 214 persons participated in the first grant competition within the project “EMBRACE Tsalka” supported by the EU ENPARD program. 13 projects were funded among them, including both economic and social projects, as well as community initiatives. Such projects aim to contribute to the employment of locals, empowerment of women and, as a result, the development of Tsalka’s economy as a whole. This was the primary aim of Temur Mgeladze’s project too, which is why he was chosen as a finalist.

“Temur Mgeladze’s project, with its goals and content, will contribute to the development of tourism in Tsalka municipality. It will create opportunities for the thriving of a modern, quality accommodation service in Tsalka. The advancement of such services is essential for Tsalka Municipality,” said Melano Tkabladze, manager of the ‘EMBRACE Tsalka’ project.

Besides stressing the critical significance of local funding as an important tool for the development of Tsalka municipality, the project beneficiaries also said this process has acquired a special significance in the context of the coronavirus pandemic – people were given the opportunity to develop and move forward.

“Every family has suffered the consequences of the pandemic in one way or another. Many people were deprived of a chance to carry out their planned activities. For my family too, it would be impossible to open Home+ without the funding received within the project. The grant was a motivator for us to pursue our passion. It is good that today there are organizations that give stimulus, hope and opportunity to the population,” said Mgeladze.

By Ana Bibileishvili, translated by Elene Dzebisashvili

ENPARDfeaturestory, LAGfeaturestory, ruraldevelopmentfeaturestory