Between years 2013 and 2014 Kaukaz.net foundation conducted two projects which were aimed at improvement of the quality of service provided to tourists in Borjomi area. First part of the project focused on problems that plagued local horse tourism based in villages surrounding Borjomi – Kharagauli National Park: inadequate training, low quality of service and equipment as well as poor horse treatment.
Project implementation started by thorough selection of 12 best candidates of which all worked and lived in Borjomi-Kharagauli region and owned healthy horses that where suitable for mountain tourism. In 2013 all chosen participants undergo 3 sessions of practical and theoretical trainings which though them about: small business management, organization of horse trips and events, advanced horse care and proper usage and maintenance of riding equipment.
In June 2013 group of most active project participants and selected representatives of Borjomi Municipality and Borjomi – Kharagauli National Park took part in 7 day study visit to Lutowiska municipality located in polish Bieszczady mountains. During their time in Poland they had a chance to experience firsthand how to establish and operate successful business related to horse tourism. They visited two prosperous agro-tourist farms specialized in organization of horse tours, Bieszczady National Park Carpathian Pony Breeding Farm and where invited to Lutowiska municipal office.
During the course of the project all participants where gradually outfitted with professional saddles and equipment that meet European safety standards. Both saddles and other parts of ridding gear where made by local craftsman that undertook intensive training in Georgia with polish master saddle maker.
In July 2013 group of project participants established first Georgian association of horse tours providers which aims to keep regional horse tourism service at professional level. Horse Tours Georgia Association website is operational since January 2013 and can be viewed at: www.horsetoursge.kaukaz.net
In 2014, during the second part of the project, the members of “Horse Tours Georgia Association” took part in a series of trainings and workshops devoted to rising horse-tourism service quality, business planning and horse riding skills. The peak point of the trainings was their participation in high-quality riding instructors training in Poland, carried out according to the curriculums of Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism, and of the Commission for Mountain Horse Tourism of Polish Tourism and Sightseeing Society. This stage of the project also included trainings for tourist trail marking that comply with the standards of the marking system used in Poland. Chosen members of “Horse Tours Georgia Association” took part in those trainings and provided invaluable help later on during marking works back in Georgia.
Projects 2013 / 2014
Project partners: Borjomi Municipality, Lutowiska Municipality, Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park.