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A person, head out of frame, holds a silver platter of breed, cheese, leafy greens, and a wine bottle.
Photo by Gregory Lee
  • Mukhrani Village Experience

Nestled in the fertile Mtskheta-Mtianeti region of eastern Georgia, Mukhrani village boasts a rich tapestry of history and culture. Its name, derived from the Georgian word for “oak grove,” hints at its ancient connection to nature. The village’s strategic location has made it a contested territory throughout history, with various influential powers leaving their mark on its landscape.

Today, Mukhrani stands as the largest village in Mtskheta municipality, home to a diverse population with ethnic Georgian, Armenian, Ossetian, and German roots visible in its architecture and traditions. Several important cultural heritage sites tell the history of the area, like the Dzalisa archaeological site (second century BCE to eighth century CE) and the nineteenth-century Mukhrani fortress in the historic center of the village.

In an effort to sustain the cultural heritage of the area, the Center and the Foundation for Regional Economic Development of Mukhrani (FREDM) are collaborating on the Mukhrani Village Experience, a community-based tourism project. We combine research, documentation, and youth engagement to create immersive, hands-on tourism experiences to engage visitors in Mukhrani’s unique practices, such as traditional crafts, foodways, music, and dance. By working closely with local researchers and community members, the project ensures that the village’s cultural heritage is preserved and that the benefits of tourism are shared equitably within the community.

Key Activities

  • Research
    A team of Georgian researchers conducted oral history interviews and gathered information about the targeted area to identify distinctive cultural practices.
  • Youth Engagement
    Students from LEPL Mukhrani Public School N1 participated in research with the team, learning how to conduct oral history interviews and photo and video documentation.
  • Workshops
    Following the research phase, our team provided training to community members on how to create tourism experiences, along with information on costing, pricing, marketing, and communications.
  • Mentorship
    Community members interested in realizing their tourism experiences will receive one-on-one guidance from our team, researchers, and enterprise specialists to ensure they are market ready.
  • Documentation
    We will capture the experiences through photography, filmmaking, and graphic design, which community members will use to create brand identities and marketing materials for their tourism experiences.
  • Promotion
    FREDM will assist with the new experiences by connecting with the local travel trade to arrange familiarization trips and outreach to media and influencers.

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