8,679,544 International Travelers Arrive in Georgia in 2018
By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, January 8
8,679,544 international travelers visited Georgia in 2018. The increase compared to 2017 is 9.8%.
Meanwhile, the number of tourist visits reached 4,756,820 which is 687,466 visitors more compared to 2017 with the growth of 16.9%.
According to preliminary data, income from tourism in Georgia in January-November amounted to $3 billion.
The information was released by the Prime Minister of Georgia, Mamuka Bakhtadze and the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Giorgi Kobulia.
“This is truly a unique achievement for such a small country as Georgia. First of all, it means that awareness and interest in Georgia are growing every day. Visitors are acquainted with our unique culture and see it as a part of a common European civilization,” the PM said.
He underlined that tourism growth is extremely important in terms of economic benefits for the Georgian population.
“The tourism sector is remarkable in that it allows for active engagement from every region, city, and village of the country, and it is open to all,” he added.
Bakhtadze said it is important and positive that the world's most reputable organizations and publications, in 2018, numbered Georgia among the safest and tourist-friendly countries.
“Numbeo global crowd-sourced portal ranked Georgia the 5th among 125 countries in 2018. The UN World Tourism Organization ranked Georgia 4th in the world, and 2nd in Europe, as one of the fastest-growing destination in the world,” he noted, adding that Georgia has great potential for stepping up this direction, and our Government is doing its best to transform Georgia into one of the exceptional destinations on the world's tourist map.
The PM noted that according to the statistics for the first three quarters of 2018, tourism claimed 7.6% of the country's GDP, marking an almost 20% year-over-year growth. In 2017 as a whole, tourism held 6.8% of the GDP.
“We are working on the consistent, stable development of tourism. We have a strategic vision and an action plan defining how this sector should develop in the next few years,” he added.
While delivering a speech, Economy Minister named the countries from which the number of visitors was exceptionally high.
From the European Union, the highest increase in a number of travelers was observed from Estonia (+80%), Slovakia (+62%), Romania (+59%), the Netherlands (+56%) and Germany (+50%).
The most significant increase was observed from Korea (+112%), China (+75%), Belarus (+43%), Israel (+36%), Kuwait (+34%), Kazakhstan (+25%) and the United States (+25%).
According to the minister's assessment, one of the most important places in the development of tourism is Georgia's mountainous resorts, adding that many additional projects will be implemented in mountain resorts in order to attract more tourists around the year.
"As you know, we are actively preparing for 2023 freestyle championship in Bakuriani. We have a very ambitious plan, under which specific infrastructure projects have been planned, including the new ski areas, new cableway construction and other important projects," said the minister.