Emerging Europe: “Georgia’s Tourist Boom: Ready or Not?”

Review by Gvantsa Gabekhadze


Agenda.ge, 3 Apr 2018, Tbilisi,Georgia

Emerging Europe, a London-based think tank committed to boosting the social and economic development of Central and Eastern Europe and raising awareness about the region, has posted a story how Georgia’s tourism potential has grown over the past several years.

The story reads that Georgian tourism first took off in 2012, jumping from 2.8 million visitors to 4.4 million in the space of 12 months.

 But it was 2017 which really placed the country on the map: more than 7.5 million people visited Georgia, an increase of 18 per cent on 2016. The number of visitors from Western Europe increased by almost 30 per cent,” reads the story.

Speaking about Georgian airports and the important role of Kutaisi regional airport, the story says that "fortunately, a new terminal is planned to open in 2020, which will be served by direct trains from Tbilisi.

It is at Kutaisi that Wizz Air, Europe’s largest emerging airline, has based itself. The Hungarian company now serves 19 destinations from Kutaisi – capacity expanded by 77 per cent in 2017 – and plans to add more routes in 2018.”

 The article reports that flag carrier Georgian Airways – based in Tbilisi – will also be adding a number of routes this year, including Barcelona, Berlin, Brussels, Cologne and Paris.

Altogether, Georgia’s three international airports – the third is on the Black Sea coast at Batumi – served 4.03 passengers in 2017, an increase of 43 per cent on the previous year.”

The story noted that news network CNN has hailed Tbilisi as "an almost overnight must-see destination, the city increasingly becoming one of the world’s most coveted hubs for fashion, arts and creativity.”

But there is far more to Georgia than Tbilisi. In fact, those in the know insist that the best of Georgia is to be found outside the capital.”

 The author speaks about the beauty of mountainous Georgia and at the end of the story tries to answer a question whether the country is ready to receive increasing an number of tourists or not.

Read the full story here.