This study revolves around the village community of Ushguli, located in the Upper Svaneti region in the north of Georgia. Since its attainment of UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996 (ICOMOS 1994, UNESCO 1996) and the establishment of secure state structures and systems around 2010, Ushguli has been seeing an incremental rise in tourism; thus far, it has found itself relatively unprepared for meeting the interests and needs of visitors and for coping with the diversity characterising modern lifestyles (cf. Applis 2018).
encounter and in many instances clash of interests between villagers
and tourists, occurring in a context in which the economic objectives
of the former group are encouraging continuously growing visitor
numbers, is correspondingly difficult to channel and manage.
Ushguli | Study | Objectives and approach weiterlesen
Ushguli’s value as a tourist destination lies in its defensive tower houses (see Pavan 2011) and the remarkable degree of the original medieval appearance of its landscape (see ICOMOS 1994, UNESCO 1996), which have held UNESCO World Heritage status since 1996, and in its proximity to the foot of Shkara, the second highest peak in Greater Caucasus and Georgia’s highest mountain, located twelve kilometres north of the community, in the extended Enguri gorge.
Hikers, mountaineers and skiers from outside Georgia have been coming to Ushguli since Soviet times, with particularly large numbers visiting in the 1970s (for an overview on tourism in Svanetia during Sowjet times, see Stadelbauer 1983, Cappucci, Pavliashvili & Zarilli 2015, Karthisvili, Muhar, Dax & Khelashvili 2019); the villagers thus possess fundamental levels of experience in tourism and the associated practices, including mountain and horse-trekking guiding and the provision of accommodation and meals (cf. Applis 2018).
Ushguli | Tourism | An overview weiterlesen