Tourism Industry – Georgia among the Top 10 Cheap Destinations
The tourism sector of the global GDP makes up 10.4%.
In terms of growth, the tourism industry has double the growth of the information technologies sector. According to an annual report by the WTTC, in 2018 the total volume of the tourism market exceeded 8.8 trillion USD. In 2018, the tourism sector’s growth exceeded the rate of global economic growth (3.2%) by 0.7% and totaled 3.9%.
In terms of rate of growth, the tourism sector exceeded such important fields as healthcare ( +3>1%), information technologies (+ 1.7%) and the financial sector (+1.8%). In 2018, only the industrial sector (+4%) has increased faster than the tourism sector.
The tourism business employs an impressive number of people. According to the 2018 report, every tenth employee, that is 319 million persons, are employed in the tourism sector.
According to the WTTC forecasts, this year the tourism sector will create more than 100 million jobs, and the number of employees in this field will exceed 421 million.
According to the UNWTO indicators, the USA ranks first in terms of revenues from the tourism sector. This country raised 211 billion USD from 75.9 million tourists in 2017. Spain ranks second with 68 billion USD in income from 81.8 million tourists, and France ranks third with 60.7 billion USD incomes from 86 million tourists.
According to International Investment experts, holidaymaking expenses rose by 17% in 2018. According to UNWTO forecasts, tourist flows in 2018-2023 will rise by 4%, and revenues from the field will increase by 5%.
As for Georgia, according to Geostat, the national statistics service of Georgia, in 1Q19 foreign visitors spent 1.2 billion GEL in Georgia, down 15.2% compared to the same period in 2018. The average expenditure on one visit also declined, and the figure decreased by 16% year on year. One visitor spends 889.7 GEL on one visit. Galt&Taggart specialists explains that the inflow of Turkish and Iranian visitors has shrunk. In particular, the inflow of Iranian visitors has almost halved year on year. According to Geostat indicators, tourists spend money mainly on food and beverages. Namely, according to the 1Q19 indicators,the average expenses on beverages and food made up 232.59 GEL. Accommodation ranks second with 228.9 GEL and entertainment is third with 165.7 GEL.
It is interesting that in 1Q19 the plurality of tourists came from Russia – 222.7 thousand visitors. According to the specialists at Skyscanner, the expenses that a two-member group makes for a two-week holidaymaking in Georgia, including air ticket prices, is at 1562 USD (512 USD air tickets + other expenses).
Georgia ranks fifth in the Skyscanner rating for top 10 cheap destinations. Belarus ranks first with 1376 USD. Armenia is among top five countries, with 1512 USD and Moldova with 1438 USD. Azerbaijan comes in at the last with 1718 USD. It is interesting that Russian citizens spend 1594 USD on two-week tours to India, 1709 USD to Hungary, 1712 USD to Turkey and 1716 USD to Slovakia.
Despite the fact that Georgia’s revenues from the tourism sector are not high, its ratio to GDP exceeds 15%. According to the UNWTO indicators, in 2017 Georgia ranked 69th among 141 countries in terms of revenues from the tourism sector.