In January 2017, 387,000 visitors crossed the border of Georgia, which is a 19.8% increase compared to last year’s data. 154,000 of these were tourists -- those who remained in Georgia for more than 24 hours. This indicator is also higher than last year, by 32.4%. Only visitors who stay in the country for more than 24 hours and use the consumer market (restaurants, hotels, etc.) are counted as tourists.
The following are the top 10 countries from which Georgia had the most visitors in 2016:
- Azerbaijan - 1.52 million visitors
- Armenia - 1.49 million visitors
- Turkey - 1.25 million visitors
- Russia - 1.03 million visitors
- Ukraine - 172 thousand visitors
- Iran - 147 thousand visitors
- Israel - 92 thousand visitors
- Kazakhstan - 48 thousand visitors
- Poland - 44 thousand visitors
- Germany - 40 thousand visitors
The Georgian National Tourism Administration presented its annual report on tourism in Georgia. 7.3% of the country’s GDP was produced by the tourism sector in 2016, whereas in 2015 this indicator was 6.6%.
Throughout 2016, more than 6.35 million foreigners visited Georgia. This is a 7.6% increase in visitors in comparison with 2015. Neighboring countries are on the top of the list of visitors’ countries of origin. The number of visitors from Iran increased dramatically by 485%, due to the abolishment of visa regulations. The number of Israeli visitors also grew significantly - by 55%.
According to the National Bank of Georgia, in the first three quarters of 2016, tourists spent 1.68 billion US dollars, which is 11% more than the previous year.
Despite the growth in tourism in 2016 in comparison to recent years, tourism has yet to regain the levels experienced from 2007-2013. The highest growth indicator in tourism was in 2012, which was 56% year-on-year.
In 2013, the growth indicator was 21%, and in 2014 - 2.3%, due to the introduction of stricter visa regulations. The growth indicator slightly recovered in 2015, reaching 7%.