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Government reports revenue from tourism

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, January 26
The Georgian government has released numbers about the spending habits of tourists in Georgia, although independent analysts have expressed doubts about their accuracy.

According to government statistics, Georgia was visited almost by 3 million foreign tourists in 2011. They spend approximately 250 USD a day, and stay for an average of five days. This should result in a gain of 3.5 billion USD to Georgia's economy, according to the state tourism office.

However, these figures are challenged by independent analysts, who criticize the methodology and note that not all foreign visitors are tourists. For example, one common type of entry into Georgia is that of transit drivers, on their way to Azerbaijan from Turkey. They generally spend their nights in their vehicles, spending little time or money in Georgia.