Me and my friends decided to make a tourist camp in our village. This will be the first camping in the gorge. Tourist potential in Pankisi mountains is quite high, and from the summer of 2018 it will increase, because the construction of Pankisi-Tusheti connecting road is being launched, and it will pass exactly on our camping site.
There is a beautiful nature in Pankisi and we would like to develop tourism. Unfortunately Georgian youth isn’t very interested in our gorge. The main idea of camping is to enable the local youth to actively get involved in tourism, to follow the trend existing in Georgia and to make Pankisi gorge as popular as other mountainous regions. Nowadays there is a stereotype that Pankisi is dangerous, whereas in reality Pankisi gorge ranks as the first among those with the lowest number of criminal cases. So we intend to destroy the stereotype.
We want to attract as many Georgians as possible, so that they can get to know us, see our culture and traditions.
I have a club of travelers called “Sadme” (Somewhere) and we arrange internal tours throughout Georgia. Through my tours I can take a group of at least 20 people on the weekend to Pankisi gorge. I will make two-day tours, we will spend a night camping and I will show them Pankisi gorge for two days. There is quite a big interest in Pankisi gorge among trekkers, since there are no tourist sites in the gorge yet, so there are no tours arranged. Existence of a trekking camp will significantly increase the potential of the gorge. Also, we will get the visitors introduced to Kist cuisine. We will offer them adventure tours and give them the opportunity to engage in sport fishing on the bank of the Alazani river, in our camp. Three of us will take part in the implementation of the idea, two locals and one from Tbilisi.
I will also cooperate with the youth organizations from different regions of Kakheti, we will invite them to take part in various events/evenings that I will hold.
Such evenings, gathering around bonfires and signing contributes to friendship of the people having different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
Evenings of Vainakh (Nakh) culture – Among the Vainakhs (Kists, Chechens, Ingushs) traditional dance, singing and poetry is still very popular, especially in Pankisi gorge. The Kists living in Georgia still live according to those old traditions and try not to forget folklore. There are choirs of women that take part in different festivals. Events of Vainakh culture will be organized. Along with the songs, traditional dance Lezginka will be performed (by boys). The local youth will voluntarily participate in all this.
We will also get income from the camping, we will have services. We will rent out the equipment for internal tours, where we will also work as guides. We will have a service of horse rent. While this will generate income, on the other hand, we will have volunteer contributions and the incomes will make sure that camp maintenance costs are covered and the idea is sustainable. The camping site will be arranged on the land area which I personally own. While this is a private property, this also means that we do not have to deal with the local self-government for permits and our project can kickstart soon.
Equal gender opportunity:
Our team consists of two girls and a boy and we will involve roughly both female and male community members in the cultural events.
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