The opening day of domestic tourism is approaching and soon Georgians will be able to seek out ways to explore the beauty of their home country.
Domestic tourism is resuming on June 15 in Georgia, while the country will open its doors to international tourists on July 1.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia encouraged citizens to travel in Georgia and see all its regions.
Georgians should travel first inside our country; there are so many places in Georgia that we have not seen, sometimes it is a shame. Now we have the opportunity to do this and let's travel all over Georgia and see all the corners of our country. We are obliged to see our country and show it to our children", said Gakharia today at the meeting with the farmers in Shida Kartli region of Georgia.
About 992,900 Georgian resident visitors aged 15 years and older made on average 1.2 million visits per month on the territory of Georgia in 2019, says the National Statistics Office of Georgia (Geostat). The number of visitors increased by 8.6 per cent year-on-year.
In the reporting period the monthly average number of tourist visits of Georgian residents amounted to 530,700, which is 10.3 per cent higher compared to 2018.
Last year the main purpose of the majority of visits (51 per cent) was visiting friends/relatives. The majority of the visits came from Tbilisi (average 286,900 visits per month) and Imereti region (208,000 visits per month).
In 2019 the monthly average expenditure during the visits equalled 153.5 million GEL. This is six per cent higher than in 2018. As for the average expenditure per visit it decreased by 3 GEL and equalled 129.3 GEL.
Gakharia said that "we cannot question the health of our citizens at the cost of receiving any tourists" as imported infections from tourism may cost the country dearly.
He said that an agreement had been reached to bring tourists from Israel to Georgia, 'but a week ago the epidemiological situation deteriorated in Israel and the government suspended cooperation with the country until the epidemiological situation becomes stable in Israel.
Gakharia said that the negotiations are underway with the Baltic Countries, Poland, Czechia and Austria to resume tourism.
Gakharia said that 'the biggest problem of this crisis is its unpredictability'. He stated that Georgia is ready to receive tourists from green regions as Georgia is a country free of Covid-19 and has learnt how to manage the development of infection, how to treat it and assess the risks.