Tourism: myth and reality
By Messenger Staff
Monday, August 6In 2003 Georgia hosted over 300, 000 foreign visitors. In 2011, the number reached over 3 million. The ruling authorities used this figure to illustrate economic success, identifying anyone as a tourist and promising in 2012 to reach 4 million. In the first half of 2012, the Georgian border was crossed by 1.5 million people; among them, 40% were tourists. This brings the approximate number to roughly 700, 000 tourists. Tour operators however calculate more modestly and believe that the maximum number of the tourists in the country was no more than 250, 000. Georgia is mostly visited by people from neighboring countries: Azerbaijan and Turkey mostly. However, there are an increasing number of tourists from Armenia, Russia and Ukraine. The most popular destinations are Tbilisi, Batumi, Mtskheta, Kutaisi, Kazbegi and Svaneti.