Lasha Berekashvili – ATSU Alumni
Lasha Berekashvili – Tour Guide
I studied at Akaki Tsereteli State University on the specialty of Geography and Tourism. My parents advised me to make my professional choice and later I realized that it was a right decision. Studying process became more interesting on my second year at the university when we started doing practices. We travelled with tents in different parts of Georgia and I got education that was based on experience. I have travelled in every part of my country during my studying years. I discovered those tourist destinations about 10 years earlier than they became popular. Though, I could not appreciate these tourist destinations as much as I do now, I saw them as the objects of tourism. I learned about tourists only from books and I met first tourist in Turkey when I went there in 3-months program to get practice in different services of hotels. After returning from Turkey I started working in one of the tourist companies. At first, I started to work for domestic tourism. I planned routes and the company sold them. I worked there for 6 years. In 2015 I established my own tourist company “Travel to Georgia”. I cooperated with the fund “Sokhumi” where I planned and organized excursions for refugee children. Later, I took part in the trainings of the world tourist guides association in Armenia and I gained international recognition. I became the member of the world tourist guides association and a certified trainer of tourist guides. I decided to share my knowledge and experience to other people and I established a tourist guide school. The program is planned according to practical experience and is centered on gaining useful technical skills together with the theoretical knowledge. In short, I do my best to make tourist destinations more popular for the tourist who arrive in my country and visit them on tours which are planned beforehand.
I plan to digitalize tourist routes in the future. Modern technologies will help Kutaisi to become one of the advanced tourist centers of Imereti region. It is crucial to use technologies more actively in the field of Tourism. It is better for us to adapt soon. We have our tourism centers in every municipality, DMO (Destination Managing Organization) is also in Kutaisi. I think, their responsibility is to create such electronic routes and organize touristic applications.
We need to work more actively, more practice and many foreign mentors to share the experiences of different countries in order to develop tourism. It is impossible to represent Kutaisi in Tokyo, Germany and Italy in the same way, because the requirements and values from customers’ side are very different and they depend on their culture and society.
I had an idea for the Georgian students being in foreign countries to get involved in the popularization of my country because they know natural environment better.
I would share my experience to the students and introduce them the requirements of the Market to focus their attention on right subjects and issues. It would be good to speak bout professions to the learners at school in order to make right choices in the future.
I think that all of us should help each other in developing process. We are members of the whole society and we have important effect on ourselves. If my neighbor lives well I will also live well. The more the society develops, the more the world and economy will develop and improve and it’s equally useful for everyone else.