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On 12 November 2014, during a discussion of the amendments to the Bill on Foreigners and Persons without Citizenship, Tinatin Bokuchava stated that should the aforementioned Bill become a law, it would hinder the development of tourism which is the only sector in the Georgian economy showing growth as of today.

FactCheck

took interest in the role of tourism in the economy of Georgia and whether or not it really is the only sector showing growth.

According to the data of the National Statistics Office of Georgia,[1] the overall real value of the tourism sector production in 2013 was equal to GEL 1,052 million, constituting 7% of the real GDP.[2]

Tourism was one of the fastest growing sectors of the economy from 2010 to 2013; however, the overall value of the domestic production in the tourism sector decreased by 3.4% as compared to the previous year.

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Source: National Statistics Office of Georgia

The MP pointed out that tourism is the only sector showing growth. Accordingly, we decided to look into the development of other sectors of the economy. According to the data of the first two quarters of 2014, there was an 11.9% growth in tourism; however, it was not the only sector showing growth. A significant increase was recorded in the fields of the processing industry (10.5%), construction (15.4%) and finances (9.5%).

  Table 1:

 Growth in the Various Sectors of Economy (First Two Quarters from 2010 to 2014)

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014*

Tourism

8.1

9

7.3

-3.4

11.9

Agriculture

-4.1

8.5

-3.7

11.3

1.2

Processing Industry

18.6

13.4

13.2

8.6

10.5

Production of Water, Electricity and Gas

3.5

7.1

0.7

5.1

-4.4

Processing of Production by Household Industries

-4.9

8.5

-2.6

6.8

2.6

Construction

4.4

3.9

18.2

-10.5

15.4

Trade

12.8

5.2

7.1

5.4

9.5

Communications

10.8

8.1

10.1

0.9

7.7

Finances

13.4

24.3

14.8

7

9.5

Real Estate Operations

10.4

12.4

5.3

9.6

5.8

Source: National Statistics Office of Georgia

Conclusion

Tourism was one of the fields with a high level of growth from 2010 to 2012; however, in 2013 the growth rate fell and the overall value of the domestic production in the tourism sector decreased by 3.4% as compared to that of 2012. According to the data of the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the share of the domestic production in the tourism sector increased by 11.9% in the first two quarters of 2014 as compared to the same period of the previous year.

The MP is not accurate when stating that tourism is the only sector in the Georgian economy showing growth. As our study revealed, a significant increase was recorded in the fields of the processing industry (10.5%), construction (15.4%) and finances (9.5%) as well.

FactCheck concludes that Tinatin Bokuchava’s statement: “As of today, tourism is the only sector in our economy showing growth,” is FALSE.


[1] The National Statistics Office of Georgia does not possess data about tourism specifically. FactCheck

used the general statistics of the National Statistics Office to assess the real growth rate in the field of tourism.

[2]

GDP in 2003 prices.