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Tourist prospects for 2011

By Messenger Staff
Monday, May 23
Authorities in the tourism industry of Georgia expected around 1 000 000 tourists this past winter, who would, pumping an estimated USD 150 million into this industry. However there was a lack of snow in Georgia's mountainous regions this winter and only around 60 percent of this target was reached. The authorities are still quite optimistic and think that this is still a good figure from which to move forward. The National Tourism Agency has forecast that 3 million holiday makers will visit Georgia this year. Independent analysts challenge some of these figures and the system of calculation. Officials consider everyone who enters the country as a tourist, even if he/she is in transit. Therefore the official statistics are vague and unreliable. The information is collected from the border protection department, not specifying who is on business visit, who is visiting relatives and who is just a tourist. Analysts think that tourists should spend at least 7-10 days and should spend a minimum of USD 1 000. So there are still serious shortcomings in this system. There are not enough hotels and the infrastructure needs to be better organized. But still let us be optimistic as Georgia indeed has good tourism potential and it should be utilized in a better way.