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Record Figures in Tourism Sector

In July Georgia hosted about 1mln foreign visitors, National Tourism Administration of Georgia reports. In whole, the country has hosted about 4mln tourists as of August 1, 2017.

According to January-August indicators, the country received 3 978 657 international visitors, up 16.8% year on year. Number of tourists, who have stayed in the country for more than 24 hours made up 1 829 331 persons, up 30.2%. A major part of visitors arrived from Azerbaijan (+8.7%), Armenia (+18.3%), Russia (35.9%), Turkey (-12.9%) and Iran (+169.5%).

Positive tendency is maintained from EU countries, including Austria recorded 52% upturn in the reporting period, the Netherlands +39%, Germany +32%, United Kingdom +29% and France +26%. Special growth was recorded from the following countries: Jordan +398%, Lebanon +318%, Saudi Arabia +218%, Kuwait +185%, Iran+170% and Uzbekistan+138%. In the reporting period, an inflow of international visitors increased from 149 countries and total number recorded 674 753 tourists. Inflow rose by more than 6000 persons  from 11 countries and total number of visitors constituted 590 862 persons (total growth marked 88%).

As to July 2017, Georgia hosted 982 487 international visitors, up 28.5% year on year, including 519 349 international visitors stayed in the country for more than 24 hours (growth constituted 32.9%).

In July 2017 a major number of visits was recorded from Russia (+60.4%), Armenia (+25.4%), Azerbaijan (+13.8%), Turkey (+0.6%) and Iran (+85.8%).

Positive tendencies are maintained from EU countries, including tourist inflows from Netherlands grew by 43%, the United Kingdom +34%, Germany +33% and France +33%.

Special growth was recorded from the following countries: Lebanon +579%, Jordan +373%, Saudi Arabia +254%, Kuwait +207%, Iran +86% and the USA +65%.

According to July 2017 indicators, inflow of international visitors rose from 134 countries and totaled 219 628 persons. Tourist inflows rose by more than 2000 persons from 11 countrires and total growth  constituted 198 874 persons (total growth marked 91%).

It should be noted that in January-July 2017 the number of tourists with international classification (visitors who have stayed for more than 24 hours in the country) made up 1 829 331 persons, that is 46% of all visitors. As to July 2017, total of 519 349 (52.8%) persons turned out tourists out of 982 487 visitors.

It is worth noting that in July  89% of visitors came from Europe, including 75% of tourists entered the country by land and only 22.5% used air transport.

These indicators reaffirm that a major number of visitors and tourists arrive from the neighboring countries.

As to revenues from the tourism sector in the first quarter of 2017, Georgia received 435mln USD revenues from the sector. In the reporting period the sector’s ratio in GDP constituted 6.8%.  (Table #1)

It should be noted that tourism is one of the leading sectors of Georgian economy and it continues growing on annual basis. At the same time, the sector attracts foreign currency and promotes a development of domestic production.

It is frequently said that tourism sector should not be a key segment of the state economy, because it is a service field, not production field. Moreover, tourism is very vulnerable to crisis periods.

The countries, where tourism sector occupies a significant place in state economy, mostly suffered during the 2008-2009 crisis. However, analysis shows that tourism sector occupies only a small part in state economy of Georgia and assessments in terms of profits and risks are exaggerated.

Today, tourism sector’s ratio in GDP is under 10%, while  in the countries, which mostly suffered in the 2008-2009 global crisis, tourism sector occupied 20-25% in state economy. Therefore, this sector needs considerable development and growth in Georgia to make it a leading segment in state economy.