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More than 5 million people visited Georgia in 2013

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Tuesday, January 7
The Ministry of Internal Affairs of Georgia (MIA) revealed the latest data on international visitors in Georgia in 2013. According to MIA this number was 5.3 million.

According to the Deputy Director of the Department of Information Management of the MIA, Davit Kobakhidze, over 391,000 visitors arrived in Georgia in December of 2013, which is about 5% more than in the same period in 2012.

According to the conventional division, in total 5, 365, 356 visits included 2, 080, 808 tourist visits, ( 39%), which is 16.3% more compared to the previous year, 1, 167, 570 - transit visits, (22%), which is 54.3% increase, and other visits – 2, 116, 978, (39%), which is a 12.4% increase compared to the same period in 2012.

According to the Deputy Head of the Information Center of MIA, Davit Alaverdishvili, mainly the visitors arrive to Georgia from neighboring countries.

The ministry reported that the biggest share of non-resident visitors came from Turkey, followed by Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine and Iran.

Statistics showed the higher number of tourists from the European Union countries, led by Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, France, Germany and Italy. Kazakhstan, the leader among the Central Asian countries, was followed by Israel from the Middle East, while Belarus is the leader among Eastern European countries.

Georgian Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Giorgi Kvirikashvili, talked about tourism development at a conference held on December 25, where he summarized the achievements of 2013 and shared the plans for 2014.

“One of the most important sectors of the economy is tourism. The current year has convinced us that this is an area where the prospects are very fast becoming a reality,” Kvirikashvili then said stressing that the tendency of international visits is increasing in recent years.

Calling 2013 a very successful year for the tourism sector, the minister said the revenues from international tourism reached $730 million USD, while more than 180, 000 people have been employed in the tourism sector.