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Georgian Mountain Guide Association

Georgian Mountain Guide Association is a membership-based, professional organization representing a diverse group of qualified and certified adventure guides in Georgia.

In 2021, the Georgian Mountain Guide Association (GMGA) became a member of the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations (IFMGA). The IFMGA certification is an internationally recognised qualification for professional mountain guides around the world.

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History in Brief


The GMGA was established in 1998, succeeding the Georgian State Mountain Guide School, which operated from 1993 to 1998, and prior to that, the Georgian Guide Service (1991-1993). It holds a non-profit, non-governmental legal entity status.


GMGA Objectives

in Georgia

  • Elevate Georgian adventure guides to international standards.

  • Enhance safety in Georgia's adventure tourism industry.

  • Foster cooperation between public and private stakeholders through a communication platform.

  • Share best practices and knowledge to shape adventure tourism policies.

  • Promote adventure tourism among youth in remote mountain communities.

  • Establish Georgia as a top-tier mountain tourism destination in the region.

  • Offer education and support for current and aspiring mountain guides.

  • Create professional clusters, define competence criteria, and encourage international association memberships.

  • Boost the job market and address migration challenges in Georgia's mountainous regions.

  • Mitigate potential conflicts between local and non-resident guides.

Achievements - 2016

Adventure Tourism School

In 2016, GMGA secured the Millennium Challenge Grant, a 24-month project aimed at establishing a one-stop-shop for adventure tourism professions. To ensure the long-term success of this initiative, GMGA, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Mountain Resorts Development Company, founded the (N)LP Adventure Tourism School (ATS), a professional education college.

Adventure Tourism School is based in Gudauri Ski Resort, the largest and the most rapid developing mountain resort on the southern slopes of the higher Caucasus. The school is located at the altitude of 2700 M. above sea level which is the intersection point of several ski lift stations, restaurants and bars. The accumulative effect of the area creates great possibilities for outdoor and indoor marketing. The students and the Instructors are spending much of the study/training time in the nearby area attracting Georgian and foreigner winter and summer sports lovers‘ and tourists' attention. Interested companies will be provided with the variety of branding types such as object branding, athlete branding, special shows and events, etc.




With the backing of international partners such as VDBS, SBV, and TUM, GMGA officially joined the IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations) at the close of 2021.


GMGA Members 


  • Total number of Members of association - 250

  • Total number of Students of Trekking Guide Course – 30

  • Team of expert - instructors – Total number of Certified Trekking Guides – 120

  • Member of Association Trekking Cluster – 36

Trekking Guide Professional Training Details

Training course and assessment

Training compounds totally 8 modules (7 days) including the first aid training, during the summer 6 modules will be held, in winter, 2 modules are planned. The participants will be evaluated after the end of each module including. 5-10 % of time is evaluation. Last module 100% evaluation.

Tutorial staff

IFMGA guides from Georgia will conduct and supervise the training program. They will undergo specific training for delivering Trekking Guide program under supervision of IFMGA Guides (IFMGA guide will always be lead expert on course).


As authorized and adopted training program in compliance with national educational guidelines, the tuition fees of expert and logistics are financed by the State Government. vThe cost of transportation, equipment and meals of students and experts are covered by the students. From 2024, the tuition fees will be in charge of students. ( their kind contribution will increase gradually, governments financing will decrease)

Entrance process and requirements of the students  

Once per year, any applicants will be able to register online to the national education ministry platform (date is fixed by the state).

Requirements for all applicants:




-Experts evaluate the motivation and physical condition of the applicants, if necessary,

In addition, interview is required.


Adventure Tourism School


GMGA aims to establish "West Point," an Adventure Tourism School regional branch in Western Georgia. The purpose of

West Point is to equip rural communities with industry-demanded skills and professions for high-value

employment and widen and strengthen cooperation with the private sector to support the

professional development and employment of vocational education graduates.


GMGA will replicate and significantly improve 18 existing industry-demanded skills training programs by adopting

international standards, formalising training programs, and ensuring their delivery throughout West Georgia.


Future Plans 

GMGA will continue the started process, with the aim of Georgia joining UIMLA; The UIMLA standard will become the basis for the new national standard.


In accordance with the new standard, a retraining certificate course will be created that will be passed by all existing hiking guides who wish to be holders of the international certificate UIMLA International Mountain Leader.

At the initiative of GMGA, through the Tourism Sector Skills Organization and Skills Agency, the existing “Trekking Guide" standard will be updated in accordance with international requirements;



In accordance with the new standard, a retraining certificate course will be created, which will be passed by all existing “Trekking Guide", who wish to be the holder of an international certificate and receive the right/license for mountain-hiking guide (trekking in wild environment) in the future.


International partners - Professional Education Providers, Industrial, and Professional Associations


State Structures and Agencies

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Donor Organizations

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Commercial Partners

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