Georgia working to be the first country that welcomes tourists after coronavirus shutdown

The total number of arrivals by international non-resident travellers coming to Georgia in February 2020 decreased by 0.7 per cent compared to the same period of last year and amounted to 466,409. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 30 Apr 2020 - 13:55, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is striving to become the first country that opens its doors to foreign tourists after months of lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic.

We are actively working with the World Tourism Organisation to ensure that under strict guidelines the Georgian tourism market will be safe and one of the first to welcome foreign tourists. Of course this is possible only under strict control", said Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava.

Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava had an online meeting with representatives of the Georgian tourism sector today. Photo: Ministry of Economy.

Turnava said that the Georgian tourism industry had been particularly affected as a result of the crisis caused by the pandemic and it needed a special approach.

We have been helping the tourism industry with various benefits and programmes since the first day of the crisis, but this is no longer enough. The tourism industry needs some time today to become as profitable and attractive as it was before the crisis. At the same time, we are quite optimistic that Georgia will be one of the first countries to defeat the epidemic and open its borders," Natia Turnava said.

Turnava said that the tourism sector needs special support to overcome the challenges it faces today and that "we are working on a tourism support programme" that includes anti-crisis measures as well as future incentives.