Resort Sairme has been recognised as an industry leader by voters at the World Travel Awards, with Breaking Travel News here chatting to general manager, Bachana Shelia, to find out the secrets of his success
Bachana Shelia: It feels just amazing!
First of all, the award is a recognition of our unique resort and the hard work we have performed throughout this challenging period to increase our recognition on local and international level.
We are proud and grateful to our guests for appreciating the tremendous efforts made by our team.
This award will be an inspiration for us to keep going on the road we have been heading down and exceeding our guests’ best expectations.
BTN: How useful are accolades such as the World Travel Awards in promoting the resort to the global hospitality community?
BS: I always believed that Sairme Resort had a potential to compete with other mountainous resorts, not only in Georgia, but also worldwide.
The only thing we lacked was a recognition on a global level that would have helped us in reaching to the wider audience and attracting guests from various parts of the world.
The winning of an internationally recognised, prestigious title such as the World Travel Awards will make a great contribution to this aspect.
BTN: Can you tell us a little about the resort – what is it that makes it so special?
BS: Sairme is a unique resort located at 950 meters from sea level in the mountainous zone of a subtropical belt, south of Kutaisi.
It covers 60 hectares of the green zone and is the biggest mountainous resort in Europe and the south Caucasus - and the only resort featuring six different healing springs that are scientifically proved to be a cure to many diseases.
The hotel is surrounded by forested mountains and is in total harmony with nature and features 152 rooms.
The landscape is modernised to include convenient recreational, shopping and dining locations.
The rehabilitation center of the resort is equipped with state-of-the-art appliances supplied by a German company, Kraft.
Virtually any type of rejuvenating procedures is possible here.
The health center is available to guests 24/7—therapeutic, cardiology, and urology services, a modern laboratory, and ultrasound equipment are at guests’ disposal.
BTN: How has the wellness sector fared over the past year – has there been an increase in demand in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic?
BS: Surprisingly, despite the Covid-19 pandemic, the domestic demand to the resort was quite high - as a result our occupancy levels even exceeded the results of the previous year.
We have created attractive special offers and have promoted the resort and the staycation concept through various local channels.
The hotel promptly adapted to all Covid-19 related regulations and safety related standards and guidelines are strictly on place.
Seeing this created sense of confidence among our guests.
This moment in the combination of cosy atmosphere of the resort and its various facilities led to increased numbers of appraisals, positive word of mouth, high ranked reviews on social media and attracted even more guests.
BTN: How would you describe the mood in Georgian tourism in late 2020? Are there hopes for some return to normality next year?
BS: During the last few years, the tourism industry in Georgia has been booming.
In the first few weeks of 2020, the mood for the rest of the year was still very positive.
However, the pandemic situation obviously changed the mood and created a lot of challenges to the tourism industry, borders are closed, most of the direct flights are suspended and entries of tourists to the country are temporarily banned.
But the fact is that Georgia is no longer an unknown little place that it used to be a decade ago, moreover, since 2016 it has been topped numerous international rankings of the best place to visit.
The fame of the country was increased throughout the years thanks to the various initiates undertaken by the government and the department of tourism and also to the increasingly improved infrastructure and addition of more sophisticated hotels Georgia has many attractions to offer to its visitors from the sea or mountainous resorts to agro- or eco-tourism.
This is a country of wine and unique Georgian cuisine, distinguished culture, folklore, hospitable people, protected parks, seaside region and beautiful mountains.
That makes me believe that there is a huge reason to have hopes that whenever the situation with the pandemic will be settled globally we will gradually return to normality and that there are many travelers awaiting this moment and looking forward to visiting us, the country which makes every visitor to fall in love with it.
Resort Sairme is located in the mountains of municipality of Baghdati, Georgia, and is among the largest properties in south-eastern Europe.
Find out more on the official website.