Georgia tourism grows despite Russian flight embargo

Published on : Tuesday, July 23, 2019

According to a data released from the Ministry of Internal Affairs confirmed a positive growth in Georgia’s tourism industry even though there was a Russian flight embargo starting July 8.


A TBC Bank released an analysis of data in Caucasus Business Week that tourism grew by 3.2 per cent year on year even though the number of Russians visiting Georgia saw a fall.


During the first week of July in 2018, 52,144 Russians visited Georgia, compared to 50,030 in the same time period in 2019.


The numbers dropped from 52,720 Russian visitors in 2018 to 41,423 in 2019 during the second week of flight ban. It showed a year-on-year decrease of 21.4%.


Russian airport traffic fell by 78.6% with Batumi and Tbilisi airport losing 88.1% and 75.2% of their Russian customers, respectively.


The number of Russian travellers arriving in Georgia via the Kazbegi land border fell from 26,001 in 2018 to 23,544 in 2019.


Those travelling via alternative forms of land transport rose by 6% from 13,186 to 13,981.

A significant number of Russians were finding alternative routes to fly to Georgia and the Ministry of Internal Affairs data revealed that 2,898 Russians arrived via plane in the second week of July, possibly flying via Armenia or Ukraine.


In the second week of July the number of Russian tourists visiting Georgia dropped by 21% as compared to 2018. As the tourism market diversifies the number of visitors to Georgia still showed positive growth of 3.2% year-on-year.


After a protest in Tbilisi on June 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin imposed a ban on direct flights between Russia and Georgia.


After a Russian MP spoke from Georgian Parliament Speaker’s chair during a session of the International Assembly on Orthodoxy in Tbilisi the anti-Russian protests started.



In Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia protestors called for the resignation of the Parliament Speaker and the Minister of Internal Affairs.Donald Tusk, the head of the European Commission was internationally criticized for the flight ban.
The flight embargo was called disproportionate, unfair and unjustified.

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