The FINANCIAL -- In summer, Tbilisi hosts three massive public events – Tbilisi Open Air musical festival that started on July 3 and ended on July 7; European Youth Olympic Festival that will be held from July 26 to August 1 and a UEFA Super Cup match between “Barcelona” and “Seville” at Dynamo Arena in Tbilisi on August 11.
“3,500 sportsmen have already been registered, but the number will increase to about 3,800. The number of athletes and people comprising their escort teams will reach 7,000. I can’t give you the exact number of foreign tourists, however,” noted Liza Vadachkoria, press service representative of the European Youth Olympic Festival’s organizing committee.
Thousands of foreigners will be (and in case of Open Air, already are) arriving in Tbilisi. Many of them have already booked tickets for Tbilisi Open Air.
“Over the course of these five days, we had about 50000 visitors, at least several thousands of them being foreiggeotv.gen guests. In particular, we saw a lot of people coming from the neighbourhood, so to say - Armenia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Russia,” said Sopo Ebralidze, public relations manager of the Open Air Festival.
At least 3,500 athletes are expected to take part in European Youth Olympic Festival, preparation for which is almost finished at the moment. All the sports facilities are ready and some of them have already been tested in mock competitions. Currently, security systems are being installed. The grand opening will be held at the Mikheil Meskhi Stadium on July 26. Exact number of foreign guests is not known but they will most likely number in thousands, according to Georgian Journal.
“3,500 sportsmen have already been registered, but the number will increase to about 3,800. The number of athletes and people comprising their escort teams will reach 7,000. I can’t give you the exact number of foreign tourists, however,” noted Liza Vadachkoria, press service representative of the festival’s organizing committee.
As for the UEFA Super Finals, 6,000 foreign fans are expected to attend it.
What economic benefits will Tbilisi see as a result of these three large-scale events? According to tourism and infrastructure expert Vato Asatashvili, it will be rather profitable for the citizens of Tbilisi:
“It will provide the capital, and not the capital alone, with a rather big income. It will also be important for development of small and medium business. By that, I mean hotels, hostels, guestrooms, restaurants, cafes, buses, taxis and a myriad of other small entrepreneurs and businesses offering their services. As you know, last month EBRD held an event here and it brought rather solid income” noted Vato Asatashvili in his comments to Ambebi.ge.
But along with profit, events of such a scale are inevitably connected with expenditures as well. Thankfully, Tbilisi Open Air is sponsored by the Hualing Group and several other sponsors. Thus, we cannot say that these events involve spending hefty sums from the state budget, unlike the European Youth Olympics, which are organized by Tbilisi City Hall - building of necessary infrastructure, preparatory works and many other things cost the budget a pretty penny, but some experts say that it’s indispensible for the country’s image.