My Dearest Colleagues,
Welcome at the 18th WFTGA Convention 2019 in Tbilisi, Georgia!
In 2017, when we were bidding to host 18th Convention, it was almost impossible to imagine that we would be honored be the Hosts, but today I am happy and excited to see 300 Tourist Guides, Representatives of their countries at the World's historical Crossroad – in Georgia!
Georgia has been an integral part of Civilization and World's Culture from ancient times.
Apart from the fact that Georgia is distinguished with its' Wine History, Folklore, unique landscapes, Cuisine and Cultural heritage, there are two more important facts that makes Georgia to hold a special place on the world map:
1. Silk Road - A road connecting Europe and Asia with each other as a Cultural and Trading crossroad.
2. And, most importantly, the idea that Georgians have in the Consciousness - the Guest is sent from God. Georgians and our Hospitality traditions have always been leaded by this Principle.
When I started working in the Tourism industry, there were many issues in the country not only in terms of tourist guides, but in general. I decided to make contribution to the hospitality industry of my country, therefore, I founded Guides school in 2005 and later in 2010 we established Guides Association of Georgia. I am very grateful to the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations, which has taken us as a family member, supported the development and promotion of the Guide's profession and helped us to have our own professional national trainers.
Personally, I refer to the Guides as the Ambassadors of their countries. It is impossible not to see the Contribution that Tourist guides, the Ambassadors, devote to their Countries popularization and development. Therefore, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all of You, the Guides from all over the World! You are in Georgia now and for us You are a Gift from God.
President of Guides Association of Georgia