Tomorrow’s hospitality hotspots are in the Caucasus and beyond: Tamas Pakuts [Video]
Newly emerging destinations such as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia are doing their best to avoid mass tourism, says Tamas Pakuts, CEO of Pakuts Hospitality Experts.
Having worked for more than three decades in hospitality and tourism, Tamas Pakuts, CEO of Pakuts Hospitality Experts, knows a thing or two about the world’s latest up and coming hotspots.
On the sidelines of TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Barcelona, Tamas spoke exclusively to TOPHOTELNEWS about how hoteliers and suppliers should be looking for opportunity in regions such as Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, especially countries like Kazakhstan, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Mongolia.
The big tourism destinations of tomorrow
Tamas: You’re right that Central and Eastern Europe is a great destination, but there are some hidden gems and they’re a bit further in the form of Soviet Union. It can be Azerbaijan, Georgia and Kazakhstan. It was not part of the former Soviet Union, but Mongolia is also a destination with high potential. Its government and people have understood that there is a need for investment and there is a chance for them to change their economy.
Lessons learned from the Croatian tourism story
Tamas: Croatia is understanding now that they made a mistake. Croatia is known for mass tourism and it’s overcrowded. It’s a lower quality of service for relatively high prices. But still, the Adriatic Sea is beautiful, so it’s the compensation for all the other negative things there.
Finally, hotel owners and tourism authorities of Croatia understood that they urgently need a change, so they are also going for quality. They are now welcoming international investors and try to limit the number of visitors, especially on the islands. I think the size of investments will have positive effects in two to three years.
Azerbaijan aiming to be the new Dubai
Tamas: Azerbaijan understood early on that that they shouldn’t repeat Croatia’s mistake. The country only had a short period of mass tourism, mostly from Saudi Arabia and Iran, for relatively low prices. They now themselves limit visitor numbers and aim for quality. They understand that they can be a better Dubai and it makes them different. Tourism and hospitality will change the country.
Georgia’s amazing personal touch tourism
Tamas: Georgia is a beautiful country. Georgians are very friendly and open-minded. They also have the sea, mountains, natural beauty and history. At the moment, there is some mass tourism but they will limit themselves as well. Visitors from most countries of the world don’t need a visa to go to Georgia. They attract with that a lot of visitors.
What I like is how sometimes the prime minister and president of Georgia takes a lucky tourist out for dinner, personally showing that special tourist the country. It results it fantastic media and marketing material.
How Pakuts Hospitality Experts fits into the picture
Tamas: We’ve worked in hospitality, tourism and aviation for more than 30 years. We were working for the airlines, airline crews and staff that were looking for hotels. We became partners of lots of hotels and from that, we developed the business. At the moment, we are a general consultant with more focus on Central and Eastern Europe, former Soviet Union, but especially on Kazakhstan, Georgia and Azerbaijan. We are also at home in China and Vietnam and soon Mongolia.
Thoughts on TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR
Tamas: I would like to thank you for this event again. I think that it’s one of the best-organized events in the world. In a day, you can make really successful, good connections. I can confirm from previous events that it works very well and we already got business — and good business — because of TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR. Even today, I’ve received lots of requests and enquiries.
Tamas Pakuts was a delegate at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Barcelona 2019. To attend, address or sponsor our boutique hospitality networking events around the world, contact TOPHOTELPROJECTS Head of Global Events & Conferences Kayley van der Velde.