THE STRATEGIC ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE ASSESSMENT OF THE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT STARTEGIES OF SAMTSKHE-JAVAKHETI AND MTSKETA-MTIANETI
The Strategic Environmental, Social and Cultural Heritage Assessment (SECHSA) of the regional development and tourism development strategies of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Mtskheta-Mtianeti was carried for the purposes of the World Bank-financed Third Regional Development Project (RDP III). The objective of RDP III is to improve infrastructure services and institutional capacity to support the development of a tourism-based economy of the Samtskhe-Javakheti and Mtskheta-Mtianeti regions. The implementation of the RDP III is expected to improve access, quality and reliability of public infrastructure; increase the volume of private sector investment in the region; and increase points of sales (tourism-related enterprises) in renovated culture heritage sites and cities. With these interventions the RDP III will contribute to the implementation of the Regional Development Strategies (RDSs) and Regional Tourism Development Strategies (RTDSs) of Samtskhe-Javakheti and Mtskheta-Mtianeti regions. The SECHSA aimed to analyze strengths and weaknesses of these strategies and identify risks associated with their implementation in order to allow well-informed decision-making on the relevance of supporting RDSs and RTDSs, and fine tuning the design of RDP III with the Government’s policy objectives in the target regions.