Научная статья на тему 'Georgian gastronomic diversity to promote cultural heritage and sustainable development of tourism in the country'

Georgian gastronomic diversity to promote cultural heritage and sustainable development of tourism in the country Текст научной статьи по специальности «Социальная и экономическая география»

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GASTRONOMY / DIVERSITY / CULTURAL HERITAGE / TOURISM / SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT / INTERNATIONAL VISITORS

Аннотация научной статьи по социальной и экономической географии, автор научной работы — Kadagidze Lamara, Piranashvili Maka

The article claims to relate the findings of the researches on culinary tourists and international visits 2019 in Georgia to the considerable gastronomic diversity of the country in order to promote cultural heritage and sustainable development of tourism.

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Текст научной работы на тему «Georgian gastronomic diversity to promote cultural heritage and sustainable development of tourism in the country»

Section 3. Study of art

https://doi.org/10.29013/ESR-19-9.10-21-25

Kadagidze Lamara, PhD in Education, Grigol Robakidze University, Georgia Professor, School of Humanities and Social Sciences E-mail: Lamara_kad@yahoo.com Piranashvili Maka, PhD in Engineering Sciences, Georgian Technical University, Georgia Associate Professor, School of Business Technologies E-mail: makapiranashvili@yahoo.com

GEORGIAN GASTRONOMIC DIVERSITY TO PROMOTE CULTURAL HERITAGE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF TOURISM IN THE COUNTRY

Abstract. The article claims to relate the findings of the researches on culinary tourists and international visits 2019 in Georgia to the considerable gastronomic diversity of the country in order to promote cultural heritage and sustainable development of tourism.

Keywords: Gastronomy, diversity, cultural heritage, tourism, sustainable development, international visitors.

Gastronomy has become one of the most impor- should take place increasingly in the same area of tant segments of tourism market as a facility used for production, at the same time providing an opportu-attraction. It is a vital tool for place marketing and a nity to deepen the knowledge of the technology used strategic element for a brand image for tourist desti- for the production and preparation [1, 15]. nation. With food so deeply connected to its origin, A variety of Ethnography automatically creates a this focus allows destinations to present and sell them- unique national cuisine. Georgian cuisine is an obvi-selves as truly unique, appealing to those travelers who ous manifestation of the oldest and richest culture of look to feel part of their destination through its flavors. the country. Each historical-ethnographic region has its

One of the significant trends is the connection of own natural and agricultural specificity, which leads to the consumption of local products to their place of the peculiarity of the ethnic group feeding (food type, origin - the idea that a specific food or wine can be cooking procedure, eating frequency). Historically, the fully enjoyed and perceived only if it is prepared on authenticity ofeach region was expressed by a dressing the territory of its origin, by people from that com- style, architecture and gastronomy, but nowadays the munity, using local ingredients. Also wine tasting most preserved is gastronomy. Each Georgian knows

that delicious walnut sauce can be found in Samegrelo, wine and bread in Kakheti, the best Khachapuri can be tried in Imereti, while the tastiest Lobiani is baked in Racha, etc. Tourists try not only familiar dishes in well-known touristic places but millions of them travel in order to discover new and unique culinary sensations.

A great Georgian historian and scientist I. Javakh-ishvili asserted that Georgians created diversity of food and drink on the basis of natural variety, so that they protect their health as well as satisfy their feeding needs [2, 227]. Majority of foreign tourists, who try Georgian traditional dishes for the first time, acknowledge their best taste and aroma at once.

Nowadays a lot of tourism destinations set their marketing strategy based on gastronomy tourism. Majority of experts believe that touristic places can be significantly advanced within the borders ofan international market with the help ofwine places and national cuisine. Georgia is a unique country in both prioritized directions - as a homeland ofwine and a country which is distinctive for its plenty of ethnographic regions.

The shift from traditional economic sectors is especially important for rural communities, many of which have struggled in the face of rapid urbanization. With their proximity to food-producing lands, rural communities often enjoy a comparative advantage when it comes to serving up traditional fare. Tourism, particularly gastronomy tourism, allows these communities to generate income and employment opportunities locally, providing jobs for vineyard tour guides or for local chefs, while fueling other sectors of the local economy such as agriculture.

A number ofprojects, created in favor ofthe revival of old Georgian gastronomic traditions, contribute to the promotion of cultural heritage. For instance, any interested person will have an opportunity to gain the experience of baking in "Bread House"- in the Satone (hall with Georgian bakery). The project "Treasure of Georgian Feast" - The tradition well preserved in the cuisine of Georgia, which is a historical flavor brought back to Georgian feast as a result ofa search expedition conducted by M/Group. Wine, beer, bread, cheese,

honey festivals are often held in Georgia. It should be noted that most of them are thoroughly fixed into annual events of the country as well as of the certain regions, while some of them are not yet developed. The reason ofthis is a lack ofexperience not a lack ofinterest.

Eastern Georgia welcomes visitors who are interested in tasting the best Kakhetian wine from the oldest cellars kept in a Traditional Qvevri (large egg-shaped earthenware vessels used for the fermentation, storage, and ageing of traditional Georgian wine). Archaeological evidence of their use goes back to 8.000 years ago [3]. They are typically buried in the floor of the cellar or Marani, a semi-sacred place to most Georgians and found in almost every house. Qvevri wine making method is inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Georgian cheese making technology is in the Registry of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia. Cheese production in Georgia has a centuries-old history. Each region has its own cheese that stands out for its particular taste and texture. The main thing that unites all sorts of Georgian cheese is that they are organic and extremely delicious.

Originally from the region of Meskheti, Te-nili (see Pict. 1 and 2) is made of threads of rich cow's or sheep's milk cheese briefly brined before being pressed into a clay pot. There is nothing like Tenili cheese in the world. Only the Mexicans prepare something similar. This is thermally processed cheese threads, which are very hard to prepare. The producers make sure the threads are of a hair's thickness. After that, they are placed in a pot and boiled, then put in brine and stretched on ropes to dry. Finally, tenili cheese is dipped in cream and put in pots. These pots are covered and put upside down so that all the water left in them is leaked out. The pots are kept like that for several weeks. Well-dried cheese is kept for more than a year. Meskhetians (people living in Meskheti Region) like aged cheese. They keep it for a long time and eat it only during celebrations. They say if a Meskhetian doesn't like someone, he will not serve the cheese for him.

1

2

Picture 1 and 2.

Originated from Mtiuleti and Pshavi regions of that stands for 'moistened quark' in Georgian. As

north-eastern Georgia, Dambal'khacho (see Pict. 3) a rule, dambal'khacho is cooked in melted butter

is a mildewed cheese made of quark. In the old days, before eating. It is also referred to as Erbo-Khacho

it was buried in the ground, but today it is no longer (boiled butter quark). Dambal'khacho is granted

prepared that way. It is kept wrapped in a paper and the status of intangible culture monument. kept in clay pots, hence it is called Dambal'khacho

Picture 3.

Picture 4 and 5.

We cannot escape introducing a unique, typically Georgian Dessert called "Tatara" or "Pelamushi" (see Pict. 4 and 5) made of the sweet condensed juice of grape must mixed with wheat flour (the version of Eastern Georgia) or corn flour (the version ofWestern Georgia). It has mild sweet taste and looks like jelly, is usually served with various types of nuts or chocolate paste, is basically made in the fall at vintage time.

Table 1. - International Visitors (Top Countries)

No. Country 2018: 9 months 2019: 9 months Variable Variable in %

1. Russia 1.109.706 1.205.974 96.268 8.7%

2. Azerbaijan 1.094.847 1.169.831 74.984 6.8%

3. Armenia 956.076 993.144 37.068 3.9%

4. Turkey 891.751 907.350 15.599 1.7%

5. Georgia (Non-resident) 363.766 371.702 7.936 2.2%

6. Ukraine 141.181 164.825 23.644 16.7%

7. Israel 121.548 150.997 29.449 24.2%

8. Iran 242.739 109.102 -133.637 -55.1%

9. Kazakhstan 47.813 74.794 26.981 56.4%

10. Germany 52.288 72.074 19.786 37.8%

11. Poland 55.142 69.924 14.782 26.8%

12. Saudi Arabia 47.431 69.074 21.643 45.6%

13. Belarus 51.088 56.098 5.010 9.8%

14. India 37.936 39.995 2.059 5.4%

15. USA 32.951 36.966 4.015 12.2%

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Information-Analytical Department

Table 2. - Classification of International Visitors

Visit Type 2018: 9 months 2019: 9 months Variable Variable in% Share in%

International Travelers 6.788.377 7.237.560 449.183 6.6% 100.0%

International Visitors 5.647.109 5.982.811 335.702 5.9% 82.7%

Tourist Visits 3.772.102 3.990.796 218.694 5.8% 66.7%

One-day Visits 1.875.007 1.992.015 117.008 6.2% 33.3%

Other (Non-tourist) 1.141.268 1.254.749 113.481 9.9% 17.3%

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Information-Analytical Department

Table 3. - International Visits (Regions)

Region 2018: 9 months 2019: 9 months Variable Variable in% Share in%

1 2 3 4 5 6

Total 5.647.109 5.982.811 335.702 5.9% 100%

Europe 4.762.500 5.165.377 402.877 8.5% 86.3%

America 43.227 48.584 5.357 12.4% 0.8%

Georgian gastronomic diversity is a great resource for gastronomy tourism development in the country particularly ifwe consider the following data of the year 2019 (See charts 1, 2, 3, 4) published by the Georgian National Tourism Administration [4] provided below:

1 2 3 4 5 6

Eastern Asia/Pacific Oceania 356.713 248.514 -108.199 -30.3% 4.2%

Africa 6.016 6.965 949 15.8% 0.1%

Middle East 110.803 136.365 25.562 23.1% 2.3%

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Information-Analytical Department

Table 4. - International Visits (Border Types)

Border 2018: 9 months 2019: 9 months Variable Variable in% Share in%

Land 4.167.486 4.412.358 244.872 5.9% 73.8%

Air 1.398.397 1.473.606 75.209 5.4% 24.6%

Railway 56.927 66.777 9.850 17.3% 1.1%

Sea 24.299 30.070 5.771 23.7% 0.5%

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia, Information-Analytical Department

The data is also partially stipulated by the events of June 2019, when the president of Russia V. Putin banned flights from Russia to Georgia in the frames of the sanction proceeded by civil protests in Georgia against Russia trying to enforce its influence on Georgia, a bunch ofyoung entrepreneurs launched an online campaign on Facebook called "Spend Your Summer in Georgia" which went viral on the spot and attracted a considerable number of international visitors to the country. Currently, we are running a new campaign "Spend 4 seasons in Georgia" and everybody willing is welcome to visit this extraordinarily unique country with its diverse nature, history, culture and cuisine.

Georgia is able and happy to attract and host culinary tourists with their variety-seeking tendency towards food, identified as the ones who frequently dine and purchase local food at the destination, consume local beverages, and rarely eat at franchisee restaurants. In addition, the culinary tourist segment is researched to be more educated, with earned higher income than the other two segments, and is characterized by its variety-seeking tendency towards food.

Hopefully, the abovementioned provides an appropriate platform for sustainable development of tourism in the country of Georgia.

References:

1. Sidali Katia Laura, Spiller Achim, Schulze Birgit. Food, Agri-Culture and Tourism (Linking local gastronomy and rural tourism: interdisciplinary perspectives) Springer, 2011.

2. Javahishvili Ivane. The History of Georgian Nation,- Vol. 2. 2012.

3. Curry Andrew, Oldest Evidence of Winemaking Discovered at 8.000-Year-Old Village, 2017. URL:https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/11/oldest-winemaking-grapes-georgia-archaeology

4. Georgian National Tourism Administration: URL:https://gnta.ge/statistics/ 2019.

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