Georgia is incredibly well placed at the gateway of Europe and Asia, with Georgia at its heart. Hospitality is country’s calling card to the world, with sophisticated transport and communications networks, and frictionless visa free access for the citizens of more than 98 countries. And the country looks forward to welcoming visitors back when it is safe to do so.
Georgia has predominantly proved to be a highly desirable location for the hospitality and real estate sectors. With its unique cultural heritage and exuberant hospitality, Georgia has seen a dynamic growth of international visitors over the recent years. Country received only 2 million international visitors in 2010, but in 2019, number of visitors reached a record high of 9.4 million (7.8 % y/y growth).
Taking into consideration the fact that the population of Georgia is only 3.7 million people, it is clear that the country is a very attractive tourist destination. Due to high demand and occupancy rates, international brand hotels are mushrooming in Georgia.
With fewer regulations, a simplified tax structure, and new infrastructure improvement initiatives, Georgian leaders are working to create an environment in which local and foreign companies can flourish. The strong growth investors are experiencing in hospitality and real estate sector represents the fruits of reform—the success of policies that introduced flexibility in to the economy.
In 2019, the number of international traveler trips grew by 7.8% YoY from 8.7 mln to 9.4 mln. The number of tourist arrivals increased by 8.3%, constituting 65.7% (5.1 mln) of the total number of international visits, while same same-day trips stood at about 34.2%.
Georgia’s tourism market is sourced dominantly by neighboring countries (71% of tourist trips in 2019). However, there’s significant increases shown from other non-neighboring countries. During last five years, the number of business trips is growing on average by 9% annually.
The tourism industry accounted for 8.1% of Georgia’s economy in 2019. The same year, tourism value added grew by 16.9% YoY and amounted to USD 1.3 billion (GEL 3.53 billion). Tourism value added reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, food and beverage (F&B), travel agencies, airlines and other transportation services. The transport category, which represents 38% of the total value added, grew by 20% YoY. The F&B industry grew by 23%, while the travel agencies and the accommodation categories increased by 17% and 11%, respectively.
Georgia is a regional center located on the shortest route between Europe and Asia. International visitors enjoy easy access by three international airports (Tbilisi, Batumi, and Kutaisi), modern railway and visa liberalization system. Citizens of 98 countries can travel to Georgia without a visa and stay up to one full year. In addition, foreigners who hold a visa/residence permit of 50 countries can enjoy visa-free travel to Georgia.
Airlines carried 1.97 million international travelers in 2019. In 2019, there were 50 international and two domestic airlines operating on the Georgian market. Wizz Air Hungary is the largest company operating on the Georgian market. It offers flights to up to 39 destinations. In 2019, it provided service for 825,290 passengers (16% of the total trips). The second largest company is Turkish Airlines, with 572,181 passengers and 11.1% of the market share. This is followed by Georgian Airways, Ural Airlines, Fly Dubai, and Ukraine International Airlines. International Airlines. In 2018, one Georgian, My Way Airlines, and nine international companies appeared on the market. Additionally, in 2019, Ryanair, one of the Europe’s low-cost and most popular airlines, also entered Georgia, offering two routes from Tbilisi and two from Kutaisi.
Georgia is Stable economic and political market, and a safe country to invest in. This stable and secure country has an extremely well-functioning business environment. In the recent Doing Business 2020 report by the World Bank, Georgia ranks 7th out of 190 countries on the ‘Ease of Doing Business’ criteria. It sits alongside developed markets, such as the US, Singapore, Denmark, Norway and the UK, among others. Georgia is featured on the list of 10 top improvers for three consecutive Doing Business cycles.
Numbeo, the world’s largest cost of living database, has released its Crime Index by Country 2020 in which Georgia is the world’s fourth safest country and the safest country of Europe. Georgia took fourth place among 133 foreign states and improved its ranking by two points compared to last year.
Distinctive among the world’s nations with its biodiversity, Georgia boasts rich natural and cultural resources and is home to more than 12,000 historical and cultural monuments, four of which are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Adjara Region is famous for its black sea coasts and bright lifestyle, while winter resorts offer an extraordinary experience including free ride and heli-skiing. With Tskaltubo medical and wellness resort Georgia is a unique wellness and SPA destination in the Region. For those who enjoy gaming, Georgia can provide a high-quality gaming experience equal to world-class gambling destinations without the restrictive legislation.