27.May .2021 21:00

Georgia Remains Closed for Russian Tourists

Georgia Remains Closed for Russian Tourists
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The government of Georgia has recently made a decision to open the land borders from June 1. However, for Russian tourists, this, in fact, does not change anything and the Russian tourists flow to Georgia is not expected yet since the land border with Georgia remains closed by the Russian side.
Russian visitors travelling to Georgia by land are hindered by the order of the Government of the Russian Federation of 27.03.2020 N 763-р “On temporary restriction of movement through vehicle, railway, pedestrian, river and mixed checkpoints across the state border of the Russian Federation, as well as through the land section of the Russian-Belarusian state border”. 
“The order remains in force, and the checkpoints on the Russian border follow the instructions from this order. Currently, there are no decisions of the Emergency Operations Center regarding the possibility of visits to Georgia,” explains Nadezhda Efremova, head of the Legal Service at Association of Russian Tour Operators (ATOR www.atorus.ru ). 
From March 1, 2021, Georgia also opened air borders. However, Russia has not yet resumed flights with Georgia, which was suspended even before the pandemic, in June 2019.
As before, now Russian citizens can fly to Georgia only by a layover flights. Pursuant to ATOR, in mid-June, a roundtrip from Moscow to Tbilisi through Armenia costs about 40 thousand rubles (US$ 545).
Tickets via Istanbul can be found at a price of about 31-35 thousand rubles (US$422-US$477). Air travel to Turkey is still limited to 2 flights to Istanbul from Moscow per week with Aeroflot and two with Turkish Airlines. It is not yet known whether the restrictions will be lifted in June 2021.
Despite imposed travel restrictions, Russia still remains among top countries by international visitors’ trip to Georgia. During Jan-April 2021, 18,062 Russians have visited Georgia. The number was 175,901 during the same period of the prior year and 367,215 during Jan-April 2019. 
However, while discussing the income received from foreign tourists by Georgia, Russian tourists are not even at the top ten by expenditure.