28 March 2023,   07:05
The World Tourism Organization publishes an article about Mestia

The Cleanest Tourism Region in Georgia - the World Tourism Organization publishes an article about Mestia.

“Mestia, with its fascinating nature and rich history has remarkable monuments of Georgian architecture and ethnography including churches, monasteries, traditional towers, and local buildings. The village has a diverse landscape, rich in forest areas and alpine zones and is famous for attracting world renowned sports championships.

The governmental agency Enterprise Georgia supports Mestia in the development of eco and agrotourism, to raise quality standards and introduced the “Micro and Small Business Support program” for the community to diversify regional goods and services.

Mestia was named “The Cleanest Tourism Region in Georgia” after The Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture initiated the project “Clean up Georgia”. This attracts new investments in clean energy, climate-smart agriculture, and other initiatives for reducing emissions and raising awareness on climate change impact.

Integrating sports championships into village life.

The village along with some sponsors such as Red Bull organised a sports event to promote the revival of the traditional Lukhmed wooden skates which were once popular in the 1980s but have since declined in use. The event has sparked interest in the old tradition which originated in Mestia. Originally, the traditional wooden skates were used during winter when moving through the snow village.

The government and partners have initiated the preservation of rich culture and history mixed with modern trends and lifestyle through sports such as skiing events that promote local cultural/natural heritage, gastronomy and create a niche tourism product.

Digital Nomads

Mestia has its own unique nature and culture that reflects their diverse heritage. The village is implementing the country’s plan to develop a co-working and co-living space for remote expatriate workers.

A hiking and trekking paradise over the snow mountains in Mestia offers skiing and snowboarding for eight months of the year while providing internet and great food, therefore resulting in a perfect destination for digital nomads. To mitigate overtourism, the government has also developed a policy to extend the protected areas in the region, to protect biodiversity, preserve nature, and support eco-tourism development in the village.

Niche tourism

The village has also developed experience-based tourism with the collaboration of the Mestia municipality, Svaneti DMO, and Georgia Tourism Strategy 2025.

The locals play a fundamental role in sharing cultural values as they offer visitors an authentic guesthouse stay where they can observe the local lifestyle, with hosts and hostesses teaching their visitors how to make traditional dishes, Svanetian hats, ride horses, etc.

Visitors can learn about ancient traditions and witness different traditional activities and events like celebrating the arrival of spring or winter”, - writes the author.