In tourism news from the Caucasus, the number of international travellers visiting Georgia increased by 23 per cent in January compared with the same month last year, according to the head of the Georgian National Tourism Agency, Giorgi Chogovadze.
The agency announced this week, that in January most visitors arrived from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Armenia, Russia and Iran, as well as EU visitors were up. Mr Chogovadze also said:
“There was an impressive number of people visiting Georgia in 2017: more than 7.5 million. Income from foreign tourists rose dramatically and totalled more than 2.7 billion US dollars. This is more than 586 million US dollars higher than 2016.”
A notable increase was registered of Czech +59%, Latvian +46%, British +31%, Dutchman +28% and Lithuanian +16% travelers. Exceptional growth in arrivals was recorded of citizens of the following countries: Kuwait +131%, Saudi Arabia +127%, Iran +92%, Israel +77%, India +48% and Turkey +20%.
Georgia’s Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili commented on the figures, telling reporters how delighted officials and businesses are to see more visitors coming not only to Tbilisi but are visiting all the regions of Georgia. The Prime Minister also addressed the need for Georgia to improve service, to revise infrastructure, transport, service, qualifications of guides and much else.
The government has several plans to promote tourism in the country. The main priority is helping ecotourism develop by advertising and expanding both protected and resort areas, and arranging different tours for particular groups. The construction of roads and infrastructure and the preservation of cultural heritage is also crucial. The state plans on working closely with the private sector to create new tourist products and to improve marketing.