The first international tourism forum Abkhazia – the Country of the Soul opened in Sokhumi on May 13 and ended on May 14. According to Teimuraz Khishba, the de facto Minister of Tourism of Abkhazia, journalists from 66 regions of Russia attended the forum. Many of them were well-known specialists in the field of Russian tourism.
The Chairman of the All-Russian Tourist Association, Dmitry Davydenko, praised the forum and expressed hope that the proposed initiatives will be implemented.
Teimuraz Khishba expressed hope that the cooperation between Abkhazian and Russian specialists will continue and the forum will become an annual event. At the end of the forum, agreements were signed between the de facto Ministry of Tourism of Abkhazia and the All-Russian Tourist Association, as well as with the National Operator of Children's Recreation.
The following issues were discussed at the forum: the summer tourist season – “quality, safety, new technologies, new products,” tourist insurance, education in tourism, modern tourism practices and investment projects, development of gastrotourism, establishment of summer health camps.
It is interesting that the de facto President of Abkhazia, Aslan Bzhania, took part in the forum. According to Bzhania, active cooperation is underway with the relevant Russian authorities on the restoration of the Sokhumi Airport, and by January 2024, the airport will most likely start operation.
The airport, located 18 km from Sokhumi in the village of Babushara, has been closed since the 1992-1993 Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. The runway is 3.6 km long, and during the Soviet era, the airport served up to 5,000 people daily in summer and up to 1,000 in winter.