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“Culture of Hospitality” – Project Presentation

Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University (TSU) hosted a presentation of the project “Culture of Hospitality” – a winner of the competition announced by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth of Georgia. The presentation unveiled a framework document of a special training module designed for travel guides, which was developed within the framework of the project. Rector of TSU, George Sharvashidze, Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth, Deputy Prime Minister Tea Tsulukiani, members of the group working on the framework document, as well as TSU representatives attended the event.

The project “Culture of Hospitality” is designed for travel guides or those willing to get employed in the sphere of tourism. A professional standard framework document has been elaborated through developing an innovative module and sharing world experience. The study involves a multiple-component, combined program, which will help acquire both theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as develop necessary skills.

“It is important that the executive authorities are cooperating with scientific and research centers. Practicing travel guides, scientists, professors, researchers have developed the guidelines that will be useful to our travel guides. I hope, we will finally achieve certification of travel guides in our country, like it happens in many European countries,” Rector Sharvashidze said.

“On the initiative of the Ministry of Culture, experienced scientists from Tbilisi State University developed a framework document for travel guides. It was our desire because there are travel guides working on the market who do not have sufficient knowledge to provide Georgian or foreign tourists with comprehensive information about this or that monument. Together with Tbilisi State University, we will allocate relevant budgetary funds to create a course at TSU for those persons who want to become travel guides, already are travel guides or want to undergo training,” Minister Tsulukiani said.

The training module will enable travel guides or those lacking experience to join this business. At the same time, the framework document will help travel guides raise their qualification and will promote the creation of a new standard.

Kakhaber Cheishvili, head of the TSU Vocational Education Center, said that “the work over the training module was quite intensive. The group used the academic resources existing on the TSU vocational program “Georgian Cultural Heritage Guides.” We hope that the framework document developed by us will promote the introduction of new, modern standards for travel guides and further develop the sphere of tourism in the country.”

“The developed framework document will help train and retrain travel guides employed in the sphere of tourism. We have divided the 240-hour education program into several modules: introduction to Georgian studies; culture and art; wine tourism; methods of preparing and conducing a tour; security and situation analysis, and learning practice. It took the working group two months to develop the document,” Salome Chanturidze, project coordinator, head of the TSU Knowledge Transfer and Innovations Center, said.

Owing to its historical past, cultural heritage and multi-century traditions of hospitality, Georgia has an opportunity to gain economic independence with the help of tourism. Presently, tourism is at a new stage of development in Georgia. Along with tourism development, the demand for highly skilled specialists is increasing. It is vital for the country to have professional staff who will be able to present Georgia as a unique tourist destination.

The project “Culture of Hospitality” developed by the TSU academics has won the competition “Development of a Special Training Module for Travel Guides in the Sphere of Culture” announced by the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth.