Over the last decade Georgia transformed itself from a lesser-known destination into a competitive regional tourist destination. And, tourism has become a key pillar of the country’s economic development.
Georgia attracts more tourists due to its hospitality
By Mariam Chanishvili
Friday, August 4
International arrivals in Georgia have been growing rapidly over recent years. In 2015 a record number of 5,901,094 international arrivals was reached, which approached the 6 million margins. Georgia attracted an additional 385,535 international travelers, which lead to improved economic indicators, and this rate grew over the past two years.
Visitors from neighboring states: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Russia account for 88% of arrivals.
A famous blog – Travel with Pedro - called Georgia a “magnet country.”
“Georgia - a country with hospitable people, great cuisine and picture-perfect scenery… One of the main reasons I’m a frequent traveler to Georgia, is because of the people. They are welcoming, friendly, proud, not subservient and with good cultural level,” writes the blogger.
The National Geographic Traveler included Georgia in its list featuring 50 of the world’s best guided trips.
In a number of international rankings Georgia ranks among the top 10 most secure countries for travel.
Despite its size, nature in Georgia is very diverse. To the north, around Kazbegi or Mestia, there are the mighty Caucasus Mountains with the snow-covered peaks. In western Georgia, around Kutaisi one will find forests and canyons. Some prefer the forest of Borjomi with its spring water or the Black Sea beaches.
The country is very convenient with its weather and having all four seasons, winter and summer resorts. In winter, Gudauri, near Kazbegi, is a good place to go skiing or snowboarding, with great infrastructure. Other ski destinations include Bakuriani and Mestia. In summer, one can go to the beach and enjoy the sun.
Some tourists say they decided to visit Georgia because of its nature, hiking, sights and historical monuments. However, most of them, stress they have been impressed with the friendly and hospitable nature of the Georgian people.
Jen Tillmanns, a German living in Boston, admits the decision to travel to Georgia came unexpectedly while selecting his itinerary in Eastern Europe and checking information online about Georgian culture and sightseeing areas. After reading about Georgia, Tillman completely changed his mind about his summer tour itinerary and arrived directly in Tbilisi.
“I was very impressed by so many things. The beauty of Tbilisi, with its lively streets, lots of people who obviously were enjoying their lives, good food and wine, welcoming attitude of Georgians and so many possibilities to enjoy my time,” Tillmanns said. “I then decided to plan various trips to Kakheti, Kazbegi, Mestia, Gori and etc. A great variety of the country! Its interesting history, art and music impressed me too, but what I loved the most was the open mindedness and true hospitality of the Georgian people! I truly enjoyed it and we will be back as soon as possible,” he added.