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Austrian ambassador on Highlander Georgia: “Georgia has unique opportunity to be on world map of hikers”
20 September, 2022

The summer tourist season in northern Georgia’s mountainous region of Svaneti closed last month with the global long-distance hiking event Highlander Georgia, with the Austrian ambassador to the country Thomas Mühlmann saying the event gave a "unique opportunity for Georgia to be on the world map of hikers".

Local media outlet cited the ambassador on Monday saying "[a]fter returning to their homeland, participants of the event from all over the world will talk about the beautiful nature and hospitality of Georgia. I think this will accelerate economic activity, I mean not only the tourism sector, but also agriculture, which is related to tourism".

Photo: Highlander Georgia/Facebook

Over 110 amateur hikers - both locals and participants from 16 other countries - joined the event between August 25-27, covering the 59-kilometre route in three days.

Project manager Tedo Makashvili said over 300 people had visited Svaneti as part of the event, contributing "direct financial benefit for locals". said about ₾100,000 ($35,465) had been spent in the region during the event.

In some parts of the route the participants had to cross the river by horse. Photo: Highlander Georgia/Facebook

The hiking event was hosted in Georgia for the first time this year, using the project implemented by the European Union, Sweden and Austria to promote the country’s hiking adventure in a global market.

Svaneti was chosen for the event location for its "old myths, stories and culture with its mesmerising views and natural energy" that would enable local as well as international guests to explore "an exotic, mysterious and ancient Georgian culture, stretching back for millennia", the event organisers said.

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