Russian Tourists the Largest Spenders in Georgia

Russian Tourists the Largest Spenders in Georgia

Russian Tourists the Largest Spenders in Georgia

The FINANCIAL -- The average expenditure of foreign travellers to Georgia per visit amounts to GEL 626. Russian tourists on average are the most generous visitors while Armenians, who are the majority in terms of total number of tourists in the country, spend the smallest average amount of money when staying in Georgia. Food and beverage, accommodation, shopping and entertainment are the main outgoings of visitors to the country.

A total of GEL 2,841,876,840 was spent by tourists in Georgia in the first 10 months of 2013, according to data provided to The FINANCIAL by the Georgian National Tourism Administration. 30% of the total amount was spent on food and beverage, 20% was spent on accommodation, 18% on shopping and 14% on entertainment.

“Citizens of Russia are in first place in terms of amount of expenditure in Georgia. Per trip to Georgia they spend on average about GEL 1,180. The following places are held by visitors from Central and Eastern European countries. Tourists from these countries spend GEL 943 on average. After them comes Turkey - GEL 533, Azerbaijan - GEL 467, and Armenia - GEL 301, according to data from the Georgian National Tourism Administration. This data is from the first 10 months of 2013.

“CIS and Georgian markets will see many new hotels open in 2014,” Alexey Korobkin, Senior Consultant at HVS Consulting and Valuation, told The FINANCIAL.

Restoring relations with Georgia’s northern neighbour was one of the main promises made by Bidzina Ivanishvili, currently holding the seat of Prime Minister. Russia has taken steps to resume the import of Georgian-produced wine and mineral water, originally banned by Russia in 2006.

According to research conducted by GNTA, from May 2011 - April 2012 the average duration of stay of Russian tourists in Georgia is 26 days.

The majority of Russian residents - 54%, travel to Georgia alone. Approximately 34% visit the country with other family members. Just 10% arrive in Georgia with friends.

Russians were the second largest group of foreign nationals among the guests of Radisson Blu Iveria in early 2013.

“Georgia hosted 417,522 international travellers in the month of November, which is 13% higher than the same period of last year. Looking at the total eleven months’ data, 4,973,632 foreigners visited Georgia, an increase of 23% compared to the previous year. The largest share of international travellers are from neighbouring countries. In November, the number of travellers from neighbouring countries amounted to 378,582, which is 91% of the total tourists that arrived in the country. 87% of international travellers who arrived in Georgia came from the land borders of the country. The eleven months’ data equals 4,328,183,” according to the November Report by the Georgian National Tourism Administration.

Statistically the highest numbers of international travellers come to Georgia in August. The summer season marks the highest share of tourists. Research made by the Georgian National Tourism Administration of the January-October period, found that 62% of total international travellers are tourists.

Aggregate indicators of spending nights in Georgia exceed GEL 4.2 million out of which GEL 2.8 million was spent by the residents of neighbouring countries, according to the data provided by GNTA to The FINANCIAL in August 2013.

“Turkey is at the top according to the eleven months’ data. However, the number of tourists from Armenia in the month of November had the highest share - 116,898 (37% of the total). There is a decrease in the share of tourists from neighbouring countries, last year’s figure was 91%,” the report states.

In recent months there has been a notable increase in arrivals from Russia. The annulment of the visa regime is also a reason for the visits. According to the eleven months’ data there was a growth of 50% in visitors from the Russian Federation. The highest growth rate was observed in February (134%) and March (103%).

“During the last month there have been increases from Israel, Poland and Ukraine. This happened after Wizz Air started offering flights to Poland and added flights to Ukraine from Qutaisi Airport. The marketing campaigns by the Georgian National Tourism Administration also play a big role,” the report claims.

According to data of the month of November, the number of tourists from Israel has increased by 34%, from Ukraine by 45%, and from Poland by 233%.

The start of direct flights to Iraq resulted in great growth and the number of Iraqi travellers has increased by 593%.

The number of tourists from EU countries was 11,545 in November, and for the whole eleven months is 197,705. The share of European tourists in November was 3%, and for the eleven months - 4%.

“According to the data of November the amount of places to stay at in Georgia is 1,063.  The share of hotels is bigger than others, 64% of the total amount,” the report stated.

The majority of tourists in Georgia are men - 78 percent. Accordingly, women make up just 22 percent of total tourists. As for the age groups of tourists visiting Georgia, 30 percent of them are between the ages of 25-34. The majority of them (39 percent) are employed.