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Over a million tourists to Georgia in 2011

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, August 23
The Georgian authorities are proudly boasting the increasing number of tourists in Georgia. According to these figures the number of tourists visiting Georgia this year has exceeded a million. Accordingly it is expected that this will have a positive impact on the welfare of the country although some analysts remain skeptical.

According to the official statistics in 2010 Georgia was visited by more than 2 million tourists and each of them spent an average of USD 160 daily. According to this simple calculation a tourist would stay in the country for an average of ten days so around USD 3 billion should have entered the country but the analysts are asking: where is this money? Either this figure is wrong or the money received has been spent inadequately.

In 2011 Georgia has officially been entered by 1.5 million tourists so according to the above calculation they should have brought around USD 2 billion into the country. But the question remains the same: where does this money go? Some analysts think that the officials artificially increase the figures as anybody whereby anyone crossing the Georgian border coming into the country is classed as a tourist. Hundreds of trucks cross the Georgian border in both directions every day transiting cargo, they are definitely not tourists. Dozens of different delegations come into the country. Georgians love travelling, they invite guests all of these categories are also not tourists. It would have been better if the Statistical Department distinguished tourists from the guests, businessmen and relatives. The figures might be more modest but at least they would provide a truer reflection of the situation.