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January-September 2017: Georgia’s protected areas attract 860,000 visitors

Monday, October 30
Georgia’s protected areas are becoming popular tourist spots, hosting a record number of visitors this year.

In the first nine months of 2017, the number of visitors to the protected areas increased by 33 percent year-on-year and totalled 860,000 guests who visited Georgia’s protected areas so far this year.

As Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili announced, half of the visitors are Georgians.

“It is very good that Georgian citizens visit the country’s protected areas, but it is also very important that among the visitors there are many foreigners from 97 countries as well. This is a clear example of how it is possible to use the right state mechanisms to encourage internal and external tourism,” said Kvirikashvili.

The PM highlighted that more visitors means more income for the local people, living nearby the protected areas.

“As an example I can say that only at Martvili Canyon local people’s income reached 3,500,000 GEL,” Kvirikashvili said.

The PM also said that since 2016, 15 new guesthouses have been built in Martvili Municipality to cater to the growing tourist numbers.

This year Georgia’s top 10 most visited protected areas were:
1. Prometheus Caves – 147,982
2. Martvili Canyon – 141,513
3. Kazbegi National Park – 132,392
4. Sataplia - 79,984
5. Okatse Canyon – 67,954
6. Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park – 51,687
7. Tbilisi National Park – 45,125
8. Lagodekhi Protected Areas – 44,371
9. Mtirala National Park – 42,085
10. Kolkheti National Park – 26,452

The highest number of visitors who came to Georgia’s protected areas in January-September 2017 were from:
• Russia – 103,236
• Israel – 42,905
• Poland – 25,530
• Ukraine – 23,357
• Germany – 15,507