• Modern revival transforms Batumi, Georgia


    Just as soon as four years ago, running water, electricity and a functioning sewage system were luxuries in the port town of Batumi, Georgia, several miles from the Turkish border. But now, thanks to a revival effort, Batumi is on its way to becoming a bustling vacation destination.

    The New York Times reports that the Georgian government has spent $103.9 million on infrastructure upgrades to the city, which includes renovations to many of Batumi's once-decrepit "old town" buildings. The crown jewel of these efforts is a four-mile oceanside boardwalk that is the main draw for tourists.

    The plan worked - in the past two years, twenty restaurants and ten nightclubs have opened in the city, in addition to three casinos. In June, Sheraton opened an $80 million hotel based off the lighthouse of Alexandria, with other international hotel chains expected to open major properties in the next few years.

    Although Batumi has undergone some changes, it still retains its old strengths. Those are chiefly its beautiful old town district and the world's second-largest botanical gardens, located just outside the city.

    Those on Europe travel may wish to book a trip to Batumi while prices are low and before it becomes too popular.

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