Calculating tourists in Georgia
By Messenger Staff
Friday, June 21The former Georgian government used simple math to increase the number of tourists. Every single person crossing the Georgian border was considered a tourist, whereas many people, in particular truck drivers, are transit visitors who do not spend a single night in Georgia. Therefore, to calculate the real number of tourists in Georgia, the authorities have started to distinguish between tourists and transit visitors. As a result the National Agency of Tourism has made certain figures available; it appears that only 57% of people entering Georgia are actually tourists. The authorities distinguish between three types of visitors to the country: transit passengers; people who are visiting Georgia for holidays and those who are visiting families and friends. Popular destinations for tourists include Tbilisi, Batumi, Marneuli, Mtskheta, etc. In the first quarter of 2013 up to one million foreigners entered Georgia. This figure is higher than in the same period for last year.