Resume: In accordance with the data of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, the number of international travellers to Georgia in the period of January-August 2018 equals 5.9 million persons whilst growth as compared to the same figure (5.2 million) of the previous year constitutes 12.2%. Of note is that the number of tourist visits in the period of January-August 2018 is 3.2 million which is 19.3% more as compared to the same figure (2.7 million) of the previous year.
In the top ten countries recommended for travelling by the influential international travelling media platform, Lonely Planet, Georgia is in the 7th position.
On 5 September 2018, in her speech before the Parliament of Georgia, Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia Member, Nino Tsilosani, stated: “In January-August 2018, 5.8 million international travellers visited Georgia which constitutes a 12% growth as compared to the same period of the previous year. Of this amount, the number of tourist visits has increased by 19% as compared to the same period in 2017. Tourism incomes have also increased and the Georgian National Tourism Administration assumes that 8.5 million international travellers will visit Georgia by the end of 2018 whilst generated incomes will exceed USD 3 billion. The largest international media platform put Georgia in the top ten countries to visit in 2018.”
The Georgian National Tourism Administration publishes information about international traveller flows and types of visits based on data provided by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
Table 1: Visits of International Travellers to Georgia
|Type of Visit||2017||2018||Difference||Difference %|
|8 Months||8 Months|
|Visits of International Travellers||5,255,318||5,895,914||640,596||12.20%|
|Visits of International Visitors||4,279,915||4,883,580||603,665||14.10%|
In accordance with the Georgian National Tourism Administration’s data, the number of international travellers to Georgia was 5.8 million in the period of January-August 2018 which is 12.2% more as compared to the same figure (5.2 million) of the previous year. In January-August 2018, 3.2 million people made tourist visits to Georgia which is 19.3% more as compared to the same figure (2,712,126) of the previous year.
In regard to tourism incomes, it looks as follows:
Table 2: International Tourism Incomes (USD Thousand)
In regard to international tourism incomes, the Georgian National Tourism Administration has currently only published the figures for the first quarter of 2018. As compared to the same period of the previous year, the growth constitutes USD 125 million (29%). If the existing dynamic is maintained, growth will continue in the next periods as well. In accordance with the estimates of the Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, Giorgi Chogovadze, international tourism incomes in 2018 will exceed USD 3 billion.
In regard to ranking, Nino Tsilosani was probably referring to the Lonely Planet ranking, an international travel platform, which put Georgia in the 7th position of the top ten travel destinations. The ranking is officially called “Top Ten Countries to Visit in 2018.” The complete ranking looks as follows:
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- South Africa
Lonely Planet is an influential international travel media platform which includes a series of international guides and annually publishes the best destinations for the next year. In the case of Georgia, the ranking’s short summary emphasises the country’s history, its cuisine and traditions associated with wine.
 An international traveller is a non-resident individual of any age who travels to different geographic areas for any duration and aim. This category excludes other foreign nationals who reside in Georgia and includes Georgian citizens who reside in a foreign country.
 A tourist is a visitor who spent at least one night in a country’s territory.