The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) published a report. As of the document, Georgia received USD 1.14 billion in income from international travelers in the first half of 2022.
Regarding the distribution of tourist revenues, Russia is on the first place, and Belarus is on the second.
Kakha Samkurashvili, senior analyst at Galt & Taggart explains Russia's leading position by the fact that the National Bank calculated the money received from migrants along with tourists, which puts the Russian Federation at the top of the list.
As for Belarus, according to him, they do not have a wide choice of travel countries.
"I couldn't say that Belarus is a low-spending segment. Supposedly, middle or higher-income tourists are visiting Georgia at this stage, because they don't have much choice. Tourism revenues, which the National Bank publishes, include revenues from tourists plus those generated from migrants, which makes this number so high. In particular, we divide the expenses of migrants and tourists only by tourists, and that is why the number is so high," he said.
As for the question of what danger the dependence on Russia can pose to the development of tourism, Samkurashvili said that it is necessary to diversify the markets.
"According to our estimation, before the pandemic and probably more before the flight closures, Russia's share in total revenues fluctuated between 22 and 25%. Despite the fact that many new markets are growing, for example Israel, Kazakhstan, etc., I still do not see a positive trend in the direction of a decrease in the Russian market In addition to the fact that we are talking about the diversification of markets, we also have a bad attitude towards Russia. The most important thing that can be done in this case is the maximum involvement of the state with the airlines.
Apart from that, tourism organizations themselves should work with other tourism organizations to attract tourists. It is important to negotiate with the airlines, because in many cases, in order to open some new direction at the state level, involvement is necessary," said Kakha Samkurashvili.
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