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On 15 January 2014, the Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Gharibashvili, held a press conference in the course of which he stated: “The number of visitors who entered the country in 2013 is quite promising. The number is around 5,300,000 which exceeds the indicator of the same period of the last year by 21.2%.”

FactCheck

took interest in the PM’s statement and checked its accuracy.

In line with the data obtained from the Georgian National Tourism Administration, Georgia hosted 5,365,356 visitors in 2013 while in 2012 the number of visitors totalled 4,428,221. Accordingly, in 2013 the number of visitors grew by 937,135; that is to say, roughly by 21.2%.

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It is noteworthy that the majority of visitors entered Georgian territory via land transport (exclusive of the railroad). In 2013, the number of such visitors reached 4,673,663 while in 2012 the number equalled 3,873,032. As for air transport, this means of transportation was used by 584,888 persons visiting Georgia whereas in 2012 the number of such persons totalled 429,364.

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Throughout the past years, the number of visitors has been increasing at high rates each year. Special consideration should be given to the last four years. In 2010, the number of visitors to Georgia exceeded that of 2009 by 531 thousand persons. In 2011, the number of visitors rose by around 790 thousand while in 2012 the increase amounted to about 1,605 thousand. The number of visitors in 2013 added up to 5.3 million, revealing an increase of 937 thousand persons.

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Although the growth rate of the number of visitors in 2013 was lower as compared to 2010-2012, the numerical growth amounted to 937 thousand persons which surpasses the same indicators of 2010 and 2011 and, therefore, represents a promising result.

Conclusion

According to the data provided by the Georgian National Tourism Administration, a total of 5,365,356 persons visited Georgia in 2013. The number of visitors grew by about 937,135 and the growth rate equalled 21.2% which comes in agreement with the assertion voiced by the PM. In the present case, however, it is precisely the numerical growth that bears the primary importance and not the percentage of growth as the percentage could decrease even when the number of visitors increases. For instance, provided in the future the number of visitors grows at a constant 900,000 persons, the percentage of this growth will gradually decrease with respect to the rising number of visitors.

Taking into account the accuracy of the figures given in the statement, we conclude that the statement of Irakli Gharibashvili: “The number of visitors who entered the country in 2013 is quite promising. The number is around 5,300,000 which exceeds the indicator of the same period of the last year by 21.2%,”is TRUE.

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