Mikheil Saakashvili, head of the Odesa Regional Administration, wants to Odesa into a world center of entertainment and gambling, he stated in his interview to Novoye Vremya.
"The route is a door to the EU. First, it must be repaired, but we also prepare a project of road concession with the international lender. We need the highway Bucharest-Odesa. We agree with the Azerbaijanis to redirect trade traffic from China through Central Asia to Azerbaijan, Georgia, and then to Odesa and Romania. As soon as the logistics work, lots of money will come", he said.
In addition, Saakashvili noted that Odessa to become the world center of entertainment and gambling.
"The city and region have tremendous tourist potential. The Ukrainians for some reason do not understand, the government especially, importance of tourism. For the Cabinet the main thing is to open a new factory, we are raised in that way. But tourism means formation of security and country’s brand. Kamianets-Podilskyi is a world wonder. Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi could be one of the world's centers of tourism. Not to mention Lviv. There are absolutely extraordinary tourist spots in this country. You just have to develop them, to bring the road, advertise, refine a bit. And Ukraine could easily receive 20-30 million tourists a year, maybe more. The proportion of Odesa could easily be 5-10 million of foreigners. After all, coasts of Odesa have much more advantages than Bulgarian Golden Sands", said the head of the Odessa Regional Administration.
He noted that the tourist sphere must be developed centrally, through legislation.
"You just need to do everything centrally. Who is killing the prospect of tourism? A village council. Some bandits sit and sell land. In my view, it is necessary to adopt a law that Odesa region is the strategic tourist area. And to specify that 50 km from the coast is a land that no one local village council can sell. We need to work on Odesa city center. Give several streets to an investment agency, invite the world's top experts, and make an excellent repair of five or six streets. Each building has to be a masterpiece, the asphalt must be laid out and licked", he said, noting that when this was implemented in Georgia, the number of tourists increased from 100 thousand to 6 million per year.