In Georgia, there is a saying that guests are a divine gift, a saying reflected in the country’s reputation for hospitality. Indeed, Georgia is increasingly on the radar for tourists from all over the world, with beautiful mountains and seaside, a cosmopolitan capital, delicious food and 8,000 years of wine-making tradition.
“Tourism is booming in Georgia and it is very important to welcome guests with exceptional care to ensure that they come back over and over again,” says Khatuna Maglakelidze, CEO of Hotel Prometheus.
Run by four women entrepreneurs, the 49-room hotel welcomes guests with its restaurant, outdoor cafe and indoor bar, spa treatments and healthcare services. The hotel is located in the centre of Tskaltubo, a city-known for its mineral water springs and water treatments and only three kilometres away from Prometheus’ cave – with its underground lakes and rivers, cave pearls and waterfalls.
To fully exploit the surge of travellers, the management of the hotel decided to strengthen its internal processes and introduce international financial practices, with the help of EU4Business and the EBRD’s Women in Business programme.
As part of the joint project, the company teamed up with the ‘Tbilisi Auditors Team’ to implement a strategy project aimed at smoothing managerial decision-making, reducing tax exposure, standardising financial reporting and re-training staff.
Since the project, the hotel management now feels more confident with financial analysis, budgeting, planning procedures, and information-based decision-making processes, efficiently managing generated income and expenditures based on reliable reports.
As a result of the project, the company’s annual turnover has increased by 27 per cent, while the profit rose from 9 per cent to 31 per cent.
“It is the best feeling when guests of our hotel leave happy with their vacation and express their intention to come back. With a sound management system, we know now where we stand and can plan for future investment and growth,”says Maglakelidze.
Hotel Prometheus benefited from the EU-funded Women in Business programme, which helps women-led SMEs access the finance and the know-how that they need to grow. Under the programme, the EBRD provides access to finance through credit lines to local banks dedicated to women-led SMEs, alongside business advice to help businesses become more competitive. The programme also offers training, mentoring and other support to enable women entrepreneurs to share experiences and learn from each other.