Travel to Georgia down in February - coronavirus to blame

  • In February, international visits from China amounted to 951, which is a 59.5 per cent decrease compared to the same month of last year. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 6 Mar 2020 - 17:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

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, says the Georgian National Tourism Administration. 

The number of visits by international visitors, defined as visits by people who are over the age of 15 and travel for less than one year, came out to 386,859 , which is 0.6 per cent less compared to February 2019. 

Out of the visits of international visitors, 257,547  visits were tourist-type (a visit which includes an overnight stay in Georgia) which is 4 per cent more compared to last year.

As for Georgia's neighbour countries, visits by international visitors increased from Azerbaijan (12.8 per cent) and Turkey (3.8 per cent), while visits from Armenia (-18.2 per cent) and Russia (-25 per cent) decreased.

In February 2020, a major increase of visits was noted in international visitors from the following EU countries:

  • Estonia  - 161.5 per cent
  • Poland - 84.8 per cent
  • Italy - 81.2 per cent
  • France - 52.4 per cent 
  • Germany - 38 per cent

In February a significant increase was recorded from the following countries:

  • Kuwait - 58.5 per cent
  • Belarus - 52.3 per cent
  • Israel - 39.5 per cent
  • USA - 29.1 per cent
  • Saudi Arabia - 17.7 per cent

In January-February 2020, the number of arrivals by international travellers amounted to 1,099,610 which is a 10.2 per cent increase, while the number of visits by international visitors amounted to 910,548 (a 10.2 per cent increase). In the same period, the number of tourist-type visits came to 67,517 which is 12.2 per cent more compared to the first two months of 2019. 

Preliminary data shows that Georgia earned $193 million (17.6 per cent increase) in January 2020 from international travellers. 

What is the coronavirus influence on Georgian tourism?

Georgia’s tourism sector will lose about 30 million GEL per month (about $10.79m/€9.93m) following the coronavirus ban on travel from China and Iran, announces Georgian Economy Minister Natia Turnava.

Georgia temporarily suspended direct flights with China to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Georgia, the Georgian Civil Aviation Agency (GCAA) reported on January 29. 

In February, international visits from China amounted to 951, which is a 59.5 per cent decrease compared to the same month of last year. 

Meanwhile, visits from China decreased by 2.2 per cent in the first two months of 2020 and amounted to 4,002 in total. 

On February 23, the Government of Georgia made a decision to suspend direct flights with Iran amid the recent coronavirus outbreak.

In February, visits by international visitors from Iran decreased by 8.7 per cent and amounted to 6,889 in total.

However, visits from Italy increased by 81.2 per cent compared to last year. As of Japan, visits are increased by 51.9 per cent compared to February of 2019. 

Meanwhile, Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has reduced the number of flights from Georgia to several destinations in Italy following the request of the airports of Georgia in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Georgia. Last week Hungarian low-cost airline Wizz Air also reduced the number of flights to several destinations in Italy.

Georgia has suspended direct flights with Italy in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country, announced the government of Georgia earlier today. 

Back