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Number of tourists decreased in Tbilisi due to recent flood?

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, June 30
Hotels in Tbilisi state that they have suffered from a shortage of visitors recently. Extensive flooding and escaped zoo animals on June 13 are considered as one of the main reasons of the current lack of tourists in the capital.

In comparison with the previous years, the number of tourists in Tbilisi has decreased by 60%, which affects negatively on the economic situation of the country.

The owner of Hotel Ortachala, Klara Mkheidze, says that after the natural disaster on June 13, most of her visitors have cancelled their reservations made before the flooding. She said that she had never experienced such a lack of visitors in previous years.

“We still have some visitors but compared to previous years this is nothing. In fact the hotel is empty now,” she said.

According to Mzia Jikia, owner of the hotel Mia, the number of tourists in her hotel has halved after June 13.

“Although we have improved the service in the hotel, the number of tourists has decreased and for now we only have ten visitors,” she complained.

However, not all hotels experience the deficit of tourists.

Hotel owner Zaira Gviniashvili, however, says that the number of visitors has increased in her hotel.

According to her, the recent disaster has nothing to do with the shortage of tourists. She thinks that this deficit is caused by small number of commercials about Georgia and called upon the Tourism Agency to take responsibility and spread more advertising videos about the country.

Nearly all hotel owners think that in general, Georgia has great potential in tourism and this field needs more promotion and encouragement from the government.

It should be mentioned that after September 1, 2014 when the government of Georgia adopted the new law and tightened visa regulations, they abolished visa free regimes with various countries, which was the main reason of tourists’ inflow reduction in the country, opposition says.

The tourists themselves name several factors, which make them refrain from travelling to Georgia. Among them there are high prices in hotels and restaurants, traffic jams, much noise, multitude of beggars in the streets and poor service.