Georgia has predominantly proved to be a highly desirable location for the hospitality and real estate sectors. With its unique cultural heritage and exuberant hospitality, Georgia has seen a dynamic growth of international visitors over the recent years. Country received only 2 million international visitors in 2010, but in 2019, number of visitors reached a record high of 9.4 million (7.8 % y/y growth). Taking into consideration the fact that the population of Georgia is only 3.7 million people, it is clear that the country is a very attractive tourist destination. Due to high demand and occupancy rates, international brand hotels are mushrooming in Georgia.
With fewer regulations, a simplified tax structure, and new infrastructure improvement initiatives, Georgian leaders are working to create an environment in which local and foreign companies operating in Georgia can flourish.
Citizens of 98 countries can travel to Georgia without a visa and stay up to one full year. In addition, foreigners who hold a visa/residence permit of 50 countries can enjoy visa-free travel to Georgia. Visitors who need to obtain a visa can take advantage of the e-visa portal to get a short-term visa. Simplified travel and visa-free regimes build on the strong growth of inbound tourism.
Distinctive among the world’s nations with its biodiversity, Georgia boasts rich natural and cultural resources and is home to more than 12,000 historical and cultural monuments, four of which are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Adjara Region is famous for its black sea coasts and bright lifestyle, while winter resorts offer an extraordinary experience including free ride and heli-skiing. With Tskaltubo medical and wellness resort Georgia is a unique wellness and SPA destination in the Region. For those who enjoy gaming, Georgia can provide a high-quality gaming experience equal to world-class gambling destinations without the restrictive legislation. And the capital, Tbilisi is an eclectic destination with a flourishing buzzing scene.
The number of multinational companies operating in South Caucasus and CIS headquarters in Tbilisi is increasing steadily, which ensures Tbilisi’s position as a regional business hub. The city beneﬁts from growing international, regional and local visitors. Over the last 5 years, annual hotel occupancy rates in Tbilisi have been above 70%.
In 2019, the number of international traveler trips grew by 7.8% YoY from 8.7 mln to 9.4 mln. The number of tourist arrivals increased by 8.3%, constituting 65.7% (5.1 mln) of the total number of international visits, while same same-day trips stood at about 34.2%.
Georgia’s tourism market is sourced dominantly by neighboring countries (71% of tourist trips in 2019). However, there’s significant increases shown from other non-neighboring countries. During last five years, the number of business trips is growing on average by 9% annually.
The tourism industry accounted for 8.1% of Georgia’s economy in 2019. The same year, tourism value added grew by 16.9% YoY and amounted to USD 1.3 billion (GEL 3.53 billion). Tourism value added reflects the economic activity generated by industries such as hotels, food and beverage (F&B), travel agencies, airlines and other transportation services. The transport category, which represents 38% of the total value added, grew by 20% YoY. The F&B industry grew by 23%, while the travel agencies and the accommodation categories increased by 17% and 11%, respectively. Travel industry supported 123 million jobs in 2018.