Getting ready for the summer season
By Messenger Staff
Monday, May 11Despite the world economic crisis the Tourism and Resorts Department is actively preparing for the coming summer season. It admits that tourist inflow has decreased by 80% since the Russian invasion last year, but says that the country’s major goal is to restore 2007 tourist levels as soon as possible.
Before the August war the Georgian tourism business was developing chaotically but in a positive direction. Official statistics claimed that in 2004 Georgia hosted 368,321 incoming tourists, in 2005 the figure was 560,021, in 2006 983,119 and in 2007 more than 1,300,000. Although these figures might be inaccurate the general tendency is clear, but the numbers have dramatically fallen since the war.
The financial crisis will make the 2009 tourist season difficult worldwide, not just in Georgia. Some agencies, including not surprisingly Russian ones, are branding Georgia as a dangerous tourist destination alongside Somalia, Colombia and Iraq.
The major tourism destination in Georgia is the Adjara Black Sea Coast. For the 2009 season around USD 200 million investment is being made to create a tourism infrastructure. It is planned that the region will host 400,000 holidaymakers this summer.