Georgia’s international tourism revenue hit a record hihg. As per January-June 2023 data, Georgia earned $1,804,529,935 in international travel income that is 123.9% more than in the same period of 2019. Compared to 2022, revenues from tourism have increased by $661,999,720.
Vice-president of the Forecasting and Research Center, financier Nika Shengelia told "Commersant" that the money earned from tourism goes to other countries and enriches their economy.
"Life in Georgia is really very expensive, hotel and food have also become more expensive for tourists. In the region, Turkey offers much better infrastructure and better prices to tourists, so it is not surprising that the European tourist will go to a place where it is cheaper to rest. Georgia will remain with local tourism and visitors from Russia.
To attract European tourists, the country should offer high-class hotels, comfort and healthy food. Tourism is profitable if you offer local products to tourists. The hotels they stay at should be made with the local materials we actually do not have. Everything is imported including furniture or finishing materials. Thus, the money we earn from tourists are spent on imports and enriches the economy of other countries.
We should revive the local production, replace imports as much as possible and develop the processing industry. This situation has not changed for years, the country is visited only by tourists from the countries of the region.
Middle class travelers from neighboring countriesmostly come to our country, they are used to the services and prices here. Georgia will always have tourists, but not wealthy European visitors," says Nika Shengelia.
It’s worth mentioning that in January-June 2023, Russia leads among the countries in terms of income from travel. In the first half of the year, Russian tourists spent $482.1 million in Georgia, followed by Turkey and EU countries.