Some Initial Signs of Recovery: Update after Three Weeks of the Flight Ban
Observing the arrivals data of the third week (week of July 22) since Russia’s recent flight ban, dynamics appear to have taken a more positive turn from that of a week before: the drop of Russian tourists has moderated further, and the total travelers’ growth slightly increased to 3.7% YoY.
Historically, the increase of tourist inflows has been several percentage points higher as compared with that of travelers; however, due to a more pronounced drop in tourists rather than same-day visitors, this differential should be lower. On the other hand, travelers from the EU posted a higher growth rate (+15.1% YoY) in the fourth week of July indicating that the acceleration of tourists and inflows likely was higher as compared to that of travelers.]
The arrivals from Russia by plane, directly hit by the sanctions, were down by 74.8% YoY in week four of July, largely unchanged from the 75.9% decrease of the previous week.
However, the total number of Russian travelers declined more moderately by 6.8% YoY (vs. the 13.5% YoY drop in the previous week and the 21.4% YoY drop in the first week of sanctions). This is mostly explained by a 15.3% YoY increase of land arrivals from Russia, as opposed to the 1.3% drop from a week before, as well as a continued growth (+24.7% YoY) of land border crossings by Russian citizens from Armenia.
Overall, TBC Research earlier projections of up to 5% tourism growth over the next 12 months seems reasonable. As well as above 4% GDP growth for the FY 2019 and 2020 and the GEL being undervalued.
See more on projections update in forthcoming TBC Research monthly update to be released in the beginning of August.