According to the head of Georgia's Association of Hotels and Restaurateurs
Alaverdashvili, Georgia considers
several countries which can replace Russian tourists in the short term, and is
in active talks with them.
“Iran, India and Arab countries are the most promising countries. But we face
problems with visa regime, for example with India. Citizens
of these countries are ready to come to Georgia but are hampered by visa
problems, ”he said.
Shalva Alaverdashvili also touched
on other problems - disrespectful and rude attitude of the Georgian authorities to the citizens of
these countries in the last years - they
often were not allowed into the country that created a negative background .
30% of Iranian citizens were not allowed into the country. Therefore, today it
is very hard to regain trust and it’s not easy to communicate with them now, ”
To attract European tourists is not an easy task and will take a lot of time but will not compensate the reduction in the number of tourists from Russia.
do not make decisions so quickly. They plan everything in advance, and don’t change their plans in one day. Accordingly, it
is necessary to work with the European market in advance. Every day we are
working to increase the number of tourists from Europe, but we still have no
illusions that we can attract more Europeans in the coming months, ” head of Georgia's
Association of Hotels and Restaurateurs notes.
6 months of 2019, a total of 61,347 Iranian
tourists visited Georgia which is 58% less than in the same period of 2018.