News Summary: Tourism thrives in Georgia
CITY OF LOVE: The transformation of Batumi, an ancient city of 180,000 near the Turkish border, is a vivid example of Georgia's drive to capitalize on its tourism potential, boosting the economy of an ex-Soviet nation where roughly one person in five lives in poverty.
BEACHES AND CHURCHES: The government has attracted top foreign investors, including real estate magnate Donald Trump, to build hotels and develop and renovate tourist sites. It has also aggressively marketed Georgia as a tourism hot spot.
TRANSFORMATION: Pro-Western President Mikhail Saakashvili has turned tourism into a key sector of the Georgian economy, now comprising 7.1 percent of the Georgian GDP, compared to 3.4 percent in 2004.