Has Traditional Georgian Hospitality Been Sustained Under Tourism Development? Evidence from the High-Mountain Regions of Georgia

An optional description of the image for screen readers. Photo by Temur Gugushvili


People in the mountainous regions of Georgia have embraced new development pathways in recent years. Residents are taking advantage of the area’s rapid increase in tourism, as settlements on the Caucasus Mountain slopes constitute some of the most visited tourist destinations in the country. The specific objective of this study was to determine whether the long-standing tradition of Georgian hospitality has sustained its cultural identity or has been commodified under accelerated tourism development. A grounded theory approach was used as a theoretical basis to explore primary findings. Empirical data were collected through interviews, participant observation, and guest reviews from the website booking.com. Texts were processed using qualitative data analysis software. The open-coded narratives revealed new forms of Georgian hospitality in guesthouse services amid waves of commodification of guest–host relationships. Maintenance of deeply rooted traditional behavior of the host communities under rapidly increasing tourism constitutes a firm foundation for sustainable development.

Mountain Research and Development