Tourism season begins
By Messenger Staff
Monday, June 13Georgian officials are expecting around 3 mln holiday makers to visit the country in 2011. For statistical purposes, any foreigner who crosses the Georgian border is considered to be a tourist. The official statistics show that during the first 5 months Georgia received 879 000 visitors. This is 44% more than in the same period of last year. The majority of those crossing the border into Georgia are from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Armenia.
Out of this figure only 32% entered Georgia for holidays, 22% came into the country for professional reasons. 25% of incomers entered Georgia to visit their relatives and friends. Only 46% of visitors stayed in hotels and some analysts think that the authorities are overestimating Georgia’s tourist potential at the moment and it is premature to think that tourism will become Georgia’s main industry. These analysts think that the country which wants to expand and develop its tourist industry has to provide adequate infrastructure to do so. It has to develop agriculture, the food processing industry, transport infrastructure, production of tourist equipment, clothing and accessories. The most important aspect is a high level of service which would comply with international standards. All these and many more minor details should be developed adequately before the country can achieve any serious breakthrough in this direction. The potential is unquestionably there, but there is much work to be done.