Rebranding Georgia’s tourism image:
Domestic tourism starting June 15, int’l tourism from July 1

Georgia will resume domestic tourism starting June 15 and will receive international tourists starting July 1. Photo: Nino Alavidze/, 07 May 2020 - 18:06, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia is setting the goal of becoming the first country to open its doors to foreign tourists starting July 1 after months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and to welcome international travellers with a new image - 'Georgia - Safe Destination!'.

Georgia will resume domestic tourism starting June 15 and will receive international tourists starting July 1. We will do this by creating a safe corridor on land borders with our neighbouring countries, as well as by bilateral negotiations with countries that are interesting for us in terms of tourism", said Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia when presented a tourism recovery and anti-crisis plan today.

Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava, who also participated in the presentation, said that Georgia will be promoted as a safe destination for international travellers, as an internationally acclaimed and successful country in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Before the world knew us as a country with an ancient hospitality tradition, now the world will recognise us as a safe country destination. We need to use the new competitive advantage that our country has acquired in the fight against the pandemic. I mean the internationally recognised success of Georgia and the completely unique experience and skills acquired by the tourism industry in providing quarantine services. 83 hotels served over 19,000 people in quarantine during the pandemic and this is an enormous experience", Turnava said. 

Economy Minister Natia Turnava speaks at the presentation of the government's plan for reopening the tourism sector. Photo via Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia.

A tourism recovery and anti-crisis plan will be developed in several stages. 

During stage one safety standards will be introduced at border crossings and airports. Stage one also includes:

  • Support of the private sector in the introduction of standards, trainings, guidelines
  • Negotiations with air carriers on the resumption of operation
  • Creation of safe corridors between countries
  • Integration of Georgia in the cooperation with EU members states
  • International marketing campaign Georgia - Safe Destination!

During stage two (starting on June 15) it is planned to create safe tourism zones and resume domestic tourism.

Gakharia said that Tskaltubo, Gudauri, Sairme, Abastumani, Borjomi and other resorts of Georgia are discussed to be announced as safe tourism zones. 

During stage three Georgia will be open for international tourism along with:

  • Land and air borders will be reopened in line with a principle of a safe corridor;
  • Gradual resumption of flights.

Tourism is one of the driving sources of the Georgian economy and one of the rapidly growing industries in the country. 

Last year Georgia hosted almost 9.4 million visitors which generated billion in revenue. 

A total of 150,000 people were employed in the field of tourism last year in Georgia. 

Tourism’s share in the gross domestic product of Georgia was 11.5 per cent.

This report focuses on the opening of Georgian tourism and its recovery and the anti-crisis plan – will shortly release a separate report on how the Georgian government intends to support the tourism sector.