The GMGA is a national association of trained and certified Trekking, Rock, Alpine, Ski and Mountain Guides of Georgia, who value the principles of safe and quality tourism and adhere to the industry regulations and code of conduct.
Together with our partners we work on strengthening institutional and educational platforms of adventure tourism professions in Georgia for the safety of tourists and their guides. We are an aspiring IFMGA candidate member country and run mountain guide courses in accordance with the IFGMA guidelines.
The GMGA was founded in 1998 as a successor of Georgian State Mountain Guide School, which functioned from 1993 till 1998 and previously the Georgian Guide Service (1991-1993). Its legal Status is a Non-Profit Non-Governmental Legal Entity. The organization’s history in brief is as follows:
1991: The Georgian Guiding Service, the first organization of Mountain Guides in Georgia was created. The organization aimed at developing the institutions for mountain guide and ski teachers’ professions and with objective to became a national representative member of an International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA) member.
1991-1993: several Georgian skiers and mountaineers attend respectively ski-teachers and mountain guide courses in Switzerland.
1993: Swiss-trained mountain guides, with support from industrial partners (Guduari Sporthotel, Caucasus Travel), donors (ASB) and Swiss Mountain Guide Association create the Georgian Mountain Guide School (GMGS) July 26, 1994: Georgian State Mountain Guide School (GSMGS) was formally registered as a professional education certification institution. IFMGA assigns Switzerland to sponsor and train GMGS
1994: GSMGS Georgia became an IFMGA Candidate Member.
1998: Georgian Mountain Guide Association was established by Georgian and Swiss mountain guides as a Georgian legal entity (NGO).
1994 - 1997: Approx. 200 young people from Tbilisi, Kazbegi, Tusheti and Svaneti regions attended training courses and were taught various mountain guiding disciplines. Two GMGA mountain guides attended mountain guides training in Poland.
1994 - 2000: Assisted by the Swiss experts, the Georgian Mountain Guide School ran post-graduate mountain guide trainings and examinations sponsored by the Swiss Association of Mountain Guides.
2004: Mr. Archil Tsintsadze, graduate of the Georgian Mountain Guide School becomes first Georgian IFMGA accredited mountain guide
2010-2013: Within the framework of a joint pilot project, GMGA and the Ilya State University trained 6 aspirant mountain guides. Within the cooperation framework and with the support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the GMGA has provided different levels of trainings to up to 50 practitioners in adventure guiding.
2015: GMGA, the National Tourism Administration of Georgia and the State Company for Development of Mountain Resorts of Georgia jointly launch the Mountain Tourism Professions Initiative aiming at creating up to date institutional and educational platforms and upgrading professional standards. GMGA implements an institutional reform aimed at creation of market-oriented professional clusters and relevant educational programs.
In 2015 GMGA carefully assessed market trends and demands, both internationally and nationally, and after consulting with IFMGA and its key partners (SMGA, VDBS), decided to transform the scope of its initial mission. GMGA will expand its focus from a mere development of mountain guiding into establishing itself as a nation-wide association of adventure tourism leaders. This will include professional development of four main clusters - trekking, alpine, skiing, mountain guiding. By means of PPP, GMGA will actively engage in professional education reforms in areas which are relevant to its objectives.
2016: GMGA became winner of Millennium Challenge Grant (project to be implemented in 24 months) for establishing one-stop-shop for adventure tourism professions. To provide sustainable and durable platform for this project, GMGA, Ministry of Education and Science and Mountain Resorts Development Company have jointly established professional education college - N(N)LP Adventure Tourism School.