Statement of the Georgian Ecotourism Association regarding the draft laws on “Transparency of Foreign Influence” and “Registration of the Act of Foreign Agent”

The Georgian Ecotourism Association believes that the draft laws on “transparency of foreign influence” and “registration of the foreign agent act” are against Georgia’s European integration course. We call on the Parliament of Georgia not to support the adoption of the mentioned bills.

For more clarity, we would like to briefly introduce you to Georgia’s ecotourism activities and, in this context, show the public what specific harm the adoption of the mentioned bills can bring to the country from a specific point of view.

Our team is constantly looking for grant competitions of international donor organizations and often goes to them with the idea of implementing various projects. All these projects are aimed at improving the economic situation of the local population in different regions of Georgia, environmental conservation and their sustainable development. The largest part of the budget of all these projects is provided for the mentioned activities and the share of administrative costs is minimal (this request is mostly made by the donor organizations themselves). It was through such projects funded by donor organizations that the Georgian Ecotourism Association was able to help such types of small businesses as: family hotels, family catering facilities, wine cellars, traditional craft masters, rural tourism facilities, local guides, etc.

It is worth mentioning separately the ecotourism routes surveyed, designed and infrastructurally maintained across the country, studies of ecotourism resources transferred to various state agencies, and many strategic development documents.

If the mentioned law is adopted, similar type of grant projects will be in danger, everyone who has benefited from the financing of various projects for years, accordingly, the activities of organizations similar to our association will be limited, which we have a clear example of in the form of the liquidation of our partner organization in Belarus.

P.S. As for the transparency of the activity, here is a link where any interested person can easily see all the projects implemented by us, with the reference of the relevant donor organization and the project budget:

AAP Georgian Ecotourism Association team