Tourism Administration Plans for 2018 – 8 million Tourists and 3 billion USD Revenues.
In January 2018 number of international visitors rose by 14.8%, while number of tourists increased by 23%. According to January indicators, 444 421 international visitors arrived in Georgia, while number of tourists, who have stayed in the country for at least 24 ours, made up 189.476 persons.
The most part of visits was recorded from Azerbaijan (+0.8%), Turkey (+20.1%), Armenia (+20.9%), Russia (+14.6%) and Iran (+92.4%). Positive tendencies are discerned from EU countries too. Namely, tourist inflow from Czech Republic rose by 59%, Latvia (+46%), United Kingdom (+31%), Netherlands (+28%) and Lithuania (+16%). Special growth was recorded from the following countries: Kuwait (+131%), Saudi Arabia (+127%), Iran (+92%), Israel (+77%), India (+48%) and Turkey (+20%).
Giorgi Chogovadze, head of national tourism administration, pointed out that the current year will beat new records. Georgia will host more than 8 million tourists in 2018, he said.
«We continue this strategy to draw more higher-paid tourists to the country. it is necessary to develop the sectors that will assist in implementing our strategy, for example, business tourism. We want to hold more congresses and meetings in Georgia with the private sector. Both marketing and infrastructural parts should be developed for high-paid tourists. In this case, VIP hotels are necessary. Tbilisi and Batumi are leaders in this respect», Giorgi Chogovadze said.
As to the year of 2017, Georgia hosted 7 554 936 international visitors, up 1 194 433 ones as compared to the previous year (+18.8%). According to January-December indicators, number of tourists, who stayed in the country for at least 24 hours made up 3 478 932 persons, up 757 962 persons compared to 2016 (+27.9%).
The most part of visits in 2017 was recorded from Armenia – 1 718 016 visitors (+14.8%), Azerbaijan – 1 694 998 (+11.2%), Russia – 1 392 610 (+34.1%), Turkey – 1 246 745 (-0.8%), Iran – 322 938 (+118.3%).
Positive tendencies were recorded from EU countries. The most part of visits was recorded from United Kingdom (+39.9%), Netherlands (+31.1%), Spain (+29.9%), France (+29.6%) and Germany (+25.7%);
Special growth was recorded from the following countries: Jordan (+316.1%), Saudi Arabia (+164.6%), Kuwait (+154.3%), Iran (+118.3%), India (+64.1%), China (+54%) and so on.
As to revenues from tourism sector, figures are impressive, but they are appraised only superficially and are not analyzed essentially to identify what specific results this sector brings to our country.
According to consolidated indicators of the I-III quarters of 2017, revenues from foreign tourism made up 2.2 billion USD (+29%), up 489 million USD as compared to the same period of 2016. Ratio of total indicators of the 2017 January-September period in total GDP constituted 7%, up 11.5% year on year.
According to the January-November indicators of 2017, international visitors made 1 927 566 GEL transactions by foreign payment card, up 30.3% year on year.
According to preliminary indicators, the year of 2017 brought record revenues. Foreign tourists spent 2.700 billion USD. As to 2018, tourism administration expects the country to host more than 8 million international tourists and receive revenues of more than 3 billion USD.
At the same time it is interesting how much money remains in Georgia of total money that international tourists spend in the country. If foreign tourists spend money on imported products, this signifies that revenues go back abroad. Consequently, a major part of 2.7 billion USD spent by international tourists in Georgia, have financed foreign economies, because Georgian market is saturated by imported products.
If we want to receive significant revenues from tourism sector, we should also develop other sectors to keep revenues in Georgia and prevent an outflow of financial resources to foreign economies.