However, a lack of strategy and coordination have led to an over-concentration of tourism in villages between Mestia, the capital city, and Ushguli. “Not only Ushguli and Mestia are interesting; every village is interesting with its natural conditions, colourful landscapes, nature”, explains Inga Goshuani, a farmer from Etseri- “Though, I think, it’s necessary to introduce this place to more people.”
Nakra Valley (Svaneti 2016 )
As many other locals in Svaneti, Inga is worried about Svans migrating to the lower lands: “I don’t want Svaneti to become empty, many people are leaving their houses and I wish they return to them again”, says one of the workers on the maintenance of the road, Zviadi Chkadua.
There are many other villages in Svaneti that are not benefiting from tourism and they lack opportunities for small business development. “People need to be given some little amount of grants (about 5.000 GEL) from the government to be more stimulated, but the government doesn’t want to.”, explains a carpenter from Lengeri, Shalva Guledani.
Local House in Nakra (Svaneti 2016)
Indeed artists and artisans need support, farmers need more and better markets but most of the government promises are worth nothing. “The government has made only a few steps in Svaneti to stop the decreasing of the population”, explains Tinico, the doctor of Becho and Mazeri. Tinico believes that there is another reason for Svans to leave the region: big dams for hydropower energy. “Perhaps, it would be better if micro dams were built on local rivers. It wouldn’t cause the flooding of big territories.Thus, Svaneti will develop, people will stay here and nature will be still as beautiful as it is now”.