President addressed UNWTO conference in Batumi
Batumi is hosting UN World Tourism Organization`s conference. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili addressed the participants of the conference today and hailed the speed of tourism development in Georgia in recent years.
`I have not heard about the country around the world, where tourism is developing as fast as it happens in Georgia in recent years. When I became president, we had 120 thousand visitors in Georgia and their greatest majority was Georgians with foreign passports. Two years ago we had 2 million visitors, last year we had 3 million, this year we are expecting four and next year - five million visitors in Georgia,` Saakashvili said and added that the growth of the number of tourists in the country is directly tied with the growth of economics as it means more employed people in Georgia.
President also spoke about the day of victory on fascism, which is marked around the world today. Saakashvili said the country, which defeated fascism, is occupant today.
`Many Georgians sacrificed their lives in the battle against fascism. The cynicism of our reality is the following - on the lands of former Soviet peoples today we have occupants and the occupied, ` Saakashvili said, adding numerous resolutions by European Parliament and various international organizations have confirmed that Russia had occupied Georgian territories.
`Russia`s government has made the country, which defeated fascist occupants together with other countries, an occupant side itself and this is described in international terminology today. I think that this is the abuse of its own people by the Russian government, ` Saakashvili said.
According to the president, despite this reality, Georgia lifted visa regime for the citizens of the occupant country and the number of Russian citizens visiting Georgia since this decision was increasing day-by-day.