He first came to accompanying a student exchange program and he immediately looked for ways to operate on business. Today he runs a medium sized business in Europe and Georgia and has the longest experience in Georgia, if he isn`t the only one who continuously has been active in Georgia for two decades.
Rainer Kaufmann and his wife Gabi started to get involved in tourism in the early 90s, and were the first German tour operators, who made Georgia known as a travel destination after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The company ERKA-Reisen GmbH is up to now the only German Caucasus specialist, and has brought several thousand tourists from Germany to Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan in the past two decades. ERKA travel has paid particular attention to bring tourists into the different regions of Georgia, especially Svaneti. More information: www.erkareisen.de.
In Georgia, Gabi and Rainer Kaufmann invested into the tourist hotel “Kartli”, in the Vera district. Thus they are the only tour operators from Europe, who are also represented in the country with private investment. For more than 15 years Rainer Kaufmann has operated first the restaurant "Rainer's Cafe" and later "Rainer's Pizzeria and Beer Garden" in Barnov Street , now one of the most popular and successful restaurants with European cuisine in the Georgian capital. More information: www.hotel-kartli.com.
In addition to classic European dishes the creative restaurant owner also tried to combine modern European cuisine with Georgian elements. So, in recent years, he created a number of new dishes and published them on his website www.georgien-news.de under the title "New Georgian cuisine. At “ Rainer's Pizzeria” he currently offers his "EUROPEAN SUPRA," a dinner in the tradition of the Georgian supra, equipped , however, with dishes from all over Europe. The latest development of hotel “Kartli”: the "Khatshapuri-Burger", a mixture of American hamburgers and Georgian Khatshapuri. In Germany the couple runs an event-restaurant, which also offers Georgian specialties beside other dishes. There the Georgian supra is very popular and Rainer Kaufmann taught his kitchen team in Germany how to cook and serve it. More information: www.kaufmann-schlachthof.de.
In addition to tourism and gastronomy the skilled TV journalist was always engaged in journalism during the past two decades. More than 15 TV documentaries were produced with his assistance for several German television channels, including one of the most famous documentaries about Svaneti in 1994 (ZDF German Television - Terra X: Glacier Gold) and one part of Stalin's three-part documentary for the ZDF because of the dictator ‘s 50th death. Taking part in the research team on this film Kaufmann received an Emmy nomination for outstanding achievement in the field of research and documentation.
With several photo calendars, photo exhibitions in Georgia and Germany and especially with two book publications Kaufmann has tried to bring Georgia closer to his German countrymen in the past and at present. His latest book, "Georgia - a travel reader" has been published just at the beginning of this. It does not only deal with the culture, history, landscape and people but also with the entire political and social development of Georgia since the collapse of the USSR. A period which the author experienced , and sometimes suffered, in the country itself. Maybe he was one of the few European journalists right at the place. More information: www.erka-verlag.de.
During the entire period of their engagement in Georgia Gabi and Rainer Kaufmann paid attention to train their employees and partners, especially in tourist regions . And all that this without any support from any government or NGO. There are circa 50 families in different regions of Georgia who can now at least partly live on various occupations they were trained on by ERKA Reisen.
Rainer Kaufmann: "If I'm proud of anything I have achieved in Georgia, then it is the fact that almost all who have been trained in one of our companies now work successfully in their jobs. Some of them are as well successful competitors. But their success is to a small extent our success ,too. "
To celebrate this anniversary ERKA-Reisen Gmbh (Bruchsal/Germany) and ERKA-Tbilissi Ltd (Tbilisi/Georgiea) invite for
Press Conference with „European Supra“.
Wednesday, december 2nd, 5 p.m. Press Conference
Wednesday, december 2 nd, 6 p.m. European Supra
Rainer`s Pizzeria, Barnovstr. 32
Please confirm your attendance
Götz-Martin Rosin: 857-538-854 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org