Free tourist zones hand-in-hand with gambling business
16 December, 2010
Free tourist zones hand-in-hand with gambling business

To attract investors to Georgian free tourist zones, Government boosts gambling business there. Soon another free tourist zone exempted from property and income taxes will be deployed in Anaklia, Samegrelo region.
Anaklia, one of the most beautiful resorts of Georgian Black Sea littorals, is a potential Free Tourist Zone (FTZ) site. Shortly after the creation of free tourist zone in Kobuleti this November, Georgian government announced another tourist zone in Anaklia last week and appealed to

the parliament to approve the initiative in an accelerated way. Georgian government does not rule out announcing of free tourist zones throughout Georgia if the two said projects become successful. Mestia, in Svaneti [Caucasian highland resort] is named as one of the potential free tourist zones.
Anaklia is supposed to enjoy similar taxation preferences as Kobuleti FTZ: Businessmen, who will invest at least GEL 1 million in hotel construction in Kobuleti/Anaklia and sustain the hotel profile during 15 years, will be exempted from the property and income taxes for the same period. The construction sites will be handed to such investors for the symbolic price of GEL 1. Government will ensure organization of the adequate infrastructure for the hotels and leisure complexes with the purpose of fostering development of corresponding projects.
Contracts with investors concerned will be concluded by the end of January 2011, and construction works of hotels must be completed in 18 months.
The controversial issue is that according to the governmental initiative, entrepreneurs will enjoy the tax-exemption only if they manage to get through with construction works in Kobuleti and Anaklia till August of 2011 and 2012 respectively. On the other hand, government offers to investors who fail to save timetables to inform Georgian government beforehand and the project implementation period can be prolonged by 3 months. However, some experts still fear that these timetables can be a trap for the investors.
Levan Kalandadze, Director Executive of Georgian Association of Small and medium Business, likes the FTZ project in its essence but fears that it lacks a clear strategy and legal basis that may lead to the violation of investors’ rights ultimately.
“The preferences granted by the FTZ project remain on verbal level and are not built in any law as of yet. Who can guarantee that government does not change its mind? And why they fix that short construction deadlines for investors, where do we speed up, what’s all for? Uncertainty makes me alert, were I an investor I would never have invested under such unclear circumstances,” He said.   
Davit Narmania, Executive Director of the Institute of Caucasus Economic and Social Research, thinks that Georgian FTZ investments are long-term projects as they cannot be paid-back in short period.
“Georgia is a small market and cannot compete with neighboring huge Turkish market by price and service, therefore hotels built in Kobuleti and Anaklia can bring profit not earlier than 3-5 years. They will be profitable but only in long-term prospect,” he elaborated.
However to rival with the neighboring tourist market Georgian government decided via boosting gambling business. According to the recent amendment made to the law on Licenses and Permission Tolls, gambling business operated with the newly constructed hotels [accommodating at least 100 rooms] is exempted from tolls imposed on gambling permission for 10 years. The amendment covers only hotels constructed in Ajara seaside including Batumi, Kobuleti and Khelvachauri districts, as well as Anaklia in Samegrelo.
The point is that gambling business is prohibited in neighboring Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. And according to Narmania, government uses its regional advantage quite dexterously to attract tourist to Georgia.

Print
Other Stories
The World Digital Mining Summit to be held in Georgia
The summit is scheduled to take place between 21st-23rd September in the Hualing Hotel, Tbilisi, Georgia.
Galt and Taggart - Tourism Boom Continues in Georgia
Tourism has become one of the key drivers for the Georgian economy. Galt and Taggart has recently published research about the Georgian tourism sector in the first half of 2018.
"The worst dream for Putin is that Russians want to live in Georgia"
This year, visitors to the Adjara region would notice that there is a boom in construction in and around Batumi.
Underground gas storage facility to be built in Georgia
KfW, a German government-owned development bank signed a EUR 150 million promotional loan with the state-owned Georgian Oil and Gas Corporation (GOGC) for the construction of the first underground gas storage facility in Georgia.
New gambling rules for Georgia
Georgian lawmakers are preparing a new draft law relating to online-casinos and gambling that will seek to curb gambling addiction in Georgia.
How expensive is it to visit Georgia?
The Georgian Lari (GEL) is the official currency of Georgia and is the only legal means of payment in the entire territory of Georgia.
Trade with the EU and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) has grown significantly
Trade with the EU and the CIS has grown by 26% and 33.5 % respectively, says GeoStat, the Georgian National Statistics Office.
The unemployment rate decreases in Georgia
The unemployment rate decreased in Georgia by 1,9% and amounted to 12.1% in the 2nd quarter of 2018 compared with the previous quarter,
Memorandum of Understanding to be signed between Georgia and Malaysia
According to the Georgian Ambassador to Malaysia Nikoloz Apkhazava, Georgia plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“Blauenstein Georgia” due to expand in Georgia
“Blauenstein Georgia” is planning to open more shops in Georgia. It is an agriculture company that sells meat products, meat and convenience food.
The amount of Direct Foreign Investment rises in Georgia
According to the information of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the amount of direct foreign investment in Georgia has risen
It’s going to get  harder for foreigners to get residence permit in Georgia
It’s going to get harder for foreigners to get permit of residence in Georgia.
Mziuri Park in Tbilisi to be renovated soon
It was the dream of prominent Georgian writer Nodar Dumbadze that when the original Mziuri park was constructed and opened in 1892 that it should be a park for children,
Winemakers to produce Kvanchkara in its place of origin - Racha
Khvanchakara is a semi-sweet Georgian red wine which originates from Racha, in the western part of Georgia. Kvanchkara is made of two types of grape Mujuretuli and Aleksandrouli.
The level of Georgian wine and Chacha exported has increased
The National Wine Agency of Georgia has recently published statistical information about the level of Georgian wine and Chacha exported between January and July, 2018.
New fire engines to be Manufactured in Georgia
The Acting Head of the Emergency Management Agency Shalva Khutsishvili said that the old Zili fire engines (which were made in the USSR) will be phased out and replaced with new ones, manufactured in Georgia.
Georgia witnesses a record number of tourists
The Georgian National Tourism Administration publishes statistical information about international visits to Georgia.
Canadian businessman plans to build a hotel in Bakhmaro
Canadian businessman Vadim Malishev plans to build a hotel in Bakhmaro resort, Guria, in the western part of Georgia.
Coffee Factory will open in Tbilisi in October
The first coffee factory (which will be located on the Kakheti highway) in Tbilisi will open in October.
Places in Georgia where real estate is the most expensive
The real estate market in Georgia is growing annually. In Tbilisi as well as other regions of Georgia new developments are increasingly taking place.
How much does a vacation cost in Tbilisi?
It is the middle of summer and those who have not yet taken a vacation are looking for an appropriate place for sure!
The price for extreme sports in Georgia
Georgia offers a variety of options to extreme sport lovers.
The number of Georgians who own property abroad increases
The number of foreign properties owned by Georgians is increasing.
How much does Taxi cost in Tbilisi?
Stories how Taxi drivers try to deceive passengers and charge them with more money than they should pay are known for everybody all over the world.
What are the highest paid areas in Georgia
According to the data collected by the National Statistics Office of Georgia in the first quarter of 2018 the highest paid jobs in Georgia are found in the financial and insurance fields.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
25.09.2018
26.09.2018
USD
1
USD
2.6226
2.6226
EUR
1
EUR
3.0868
3.0868
GBP
1
GBP
3.4416
3.4416
RUB
100
RUB
3.9814
3.9814
Other Stories
Recently Toyota rolled out Global Campaign under this slogan that reflects the Olympic and Paralympic Spirit of Encouragement,
A couple from Switzerland combines Swiss tradition and technology with Georgian products. Their cheese is made in the Georgian mountains and sold in local stores and hotels.
It has been more than five years since the residents of Lilo village, near Tbilisi, cannot open their windows.
63 000 GEL was received by the Georgian Agro Export Group which is just a small part of the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agricultural and Rural development.
Georgian entrepreneur Guka Tavberidze, who runs his own business in the UK and does it quite well, has been invited by BBC
The grand opening of 7-star The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi took place in Georgia’s capital on July 31.
DUSHETI, Georgia – The Georgian government and the World Bank will allocate USD 5.6 million (12 million GEL) to fund
A new Georgian clothing brand named Person has emerged in Georgian market.
Georgia is in the midst of an economic maelstrom, Euronews reports.
Situation at Georgia’s mineral water market is interesting: over the last year, the volume of export has grown by 56 percent. According to “GeoStat”, over $114 million worth of mineral water was sold
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
2.6226
EUR
1
EUR
3.0868
GBP
1
GBP
3.4416
RUB
100
RUB
3.9814