The Caucasus nation of Georgia, not to be confused with the US state of Georgia, is gaining traction as a regional MICE destination. In 2016, within the framework of the National Tourism Administration of Georgia, the Georgian Convention and Exhibition Bureau (GCEB) started operations with the objective to promote the development of business tourism in Georgia. By 2018, Georgia has achieved the first place in the ICCA rankings for the Caucasus and Central Asia regions.
The elegant historic building that had its beginnings as Hotel Majestic has been through two world wars, a civil war and functioned as hotel, hospital and trade union house since 1915. In 2002, Tbilisi Marriott Hotel started operations in this reconstructed and restored building. The hotel is certainly for those who loved history, nostalgia and the old world charm. The lobby is a travel back in time, and the lounge retained the “Majestic” name as a reminder to the property’s heritage.
Radisson Collection Hotel, Tsinandali Estate, is one of the most interesting hotels for convention and incentive travel in Georgia. There are only about 12 Radisson Collection Hotels in the world, and the brand is all about being exceptional... in terms of design, service quality and heritage.
Georgian wine is acknowledged as being one of the earliest, if not the earliest form of wine making in the world. A trip to Georgia would not be complete without visiting Kakheti, Georgia’s stunning wine region, to learn about traditional Georgian wine-making methods and to explore adorable old towns and monasteries.
Lopota Lake Resort & Spa, just three hours drive from Tbilisi, is located in the Kakheti region. It is a great place for relaxation after a day of visiting vineyards and exploring quaint small towns. Judging from the number of outdoor swimming pools and outdoor sports facilities in the Resort, it is most suitably a summer holiday destination.
The Iota Hotel is located just a few minutes walk from Freedom Square in Tbilisi. It is surrounded by small lanes with residential houses and apartments. Despite being a concrete block with limited space, the hotel exudes the feeling of nature as it optimises the use of every available courtyard space and vertical wall space for planting and gardening.
Stepantsminda is a small town located in a valley in northern Georgia, about three hours drive from the capital city of Tbilisi. The grand Caucasus Mountains serve as a spectacular natural backdrop to the town with a population of just about 2,000. The town is seeing healthy growth in MICE visitors and general tourists due to its natural beauty.
Usually, when visiting a conservation building, what we see as being ‘conserved’ is only the building’s facade. The interior of the building would have been re-constructed to suit modern-day demands for safety and comfort. Rooms Hotel and Stamba Hotel are unique in the sense that they preserved much of the original building’s structures and features, yet infused chic, modern touches to old world charm.
The ExpoGeorgia convention centre dates back to 1958 during the Soviet era. The total space of the fairground is 140,000 sqm with 11 halls, and total indoor exhibition space of 10,000 sqm, with the individual hall capacity ranging from 300 sqm to 1,700 sqm. There is an open exhibition area of more than 10,000 sqm. Hall 11 is the main exhibition venue with an area of nearly 1,700 sqm. Hall 3, on the other hand, is suitable for conferences, seminars and shows.
Hôtels & Préférence Hualing Tbilisi is a five-star Hotel located just 20 minutes from the Tbilisi Airport and about 30 minutes from Tbilisi Old Town. The promotional materials described it as being “...located on the shorelines of the famous Tbilisi Sea”. In case you start forming in your mind, images of a resort hotel nestled on the beachfront with wavy blue sea, let us clarify that Tbilisi “Sea” is actually a huge man-made reservoir created in 1953. Although Tbilisi Sea is a popular recreational destination, it is not exactly a sea with white sandy beach. Given its proximity to the airport, Hôtels & Préférence Hualing Tbilisi is more suited as a business and convention hotel.
Traveling to Tbilisi, capital city of Georgia, during the rather cold month of March, we certainly felt at home at The Biltmore Hotel, part of Singapore’s homegrown Millennium & Copthorne group of hotels. Although arriving at wee hours of the morning and longing to tuck into bed to catch some sleep, we can’t help but noticed the classical-styled lobby with polished marble floors and crystal chandeliers exuding glamour and luxury.
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