assistance to Ukrainians in Georgia will continue as long as necessary

Since the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine, the Georgian government has launched a number of programs aimed at assisting Ukrainian citizens in Georgia. From the very first days of the war, the Georgian National Tourism Administration began to actively provide assistance to Ukrainian tourists in Georgia.

The Georgian government now covers accommodation and food costs for Ukrainian citizens who arrived in the country between February 1 and 23. Since March 1, the Tourism Administration, which falls under the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia, has been tasked with providing state-funded temporary accommodation to Ukrainian tourists.

Announcing the initiative to support people unable to return to their country after the launch of the Russian invasion, the state agency asked all Ukrainian visitors to contact the organization on its hotline – reachable via the number 144 -3 – for consultation when needed. Photo: National Tourism Administration.

Medea Janiashvili, acting head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, spoke to agenda.ge about the process of assisting Ukrainian citizens in Georgia and their needs.

About 1,500 Ukrainian citizens received various kinds of assistance through the hotline, and up to 320 people received accommodation directly, Janiashvili told agenda.ge.

With the start of hostilities in Ukraine, turnout was initially quite high, Janiashvili said. Citizens of Ukraine received information from the State Tourism Agency through its hotline and official social media accounts regarding flights, accommodation, food services and travel. Ukrainian citizens who entered Georgia between February 1 and February 23 received free accommodation and three meals a day, Janiashvili stressed. At the first stage, about three to four thousand Ukrainian citizens were in Georgia. “Many arrived in Georgia after the war started from Ukraine, [while] many have left.” – said the representative of the agency.

According to Janiashvili, Ukrainian guests are now accommodated in three hotels. However, if the number of requests increases, the number of hotels will be increased. Photo: National Tourism Administration.

The acting head of the national agency said the assistance program was implemented across Georgia, but calls from Ukrainian nationals were mostly seen in the capital Tbilisi. “They were on vacation in the mountain resorts of Georgia – Gudauri, Svaneti [when the war broke out]. There were also a lot of them in Batumi, so the Adjara Tourism Department provides them with accommodation and food,” she said.

Photo: National Tourism Administration.

Janiashvili expressed his gratitude to the private sector and hoteliers who accommodate Ukrainian citizens completely free of charge. The number of such hotels has also been “quite high”, she said. Private sector representatives have been actively involved in the assistance process, including food outlets and the Restaurant Association.

We are constantly monitoring hotels for the needs of Ukrainian citizens,” Janiashvili said, noting that assistance to individuals would continue for as long as needed. hygiene items, medicines, different kinds of vouchers,” Janiashvili told us.

Photo: National Tourism Administration.

As part of the assistance process, the National Tourism Administration maintains “close contact and coordination” with various government agencies, ministries, diplomatic missions, embassies and international organizations to provide accommodation and food to Ukrainian nationals, as well as to help their children with education.