In 2022, the number of outbound visits made by Georgian residents tripled compared to 2021 and reached 1.7 million. Notably, the recovery in outbound tourism from Georgia had been gradual before a rapid jump in Q2 of 2022. In total, in 2022, the number of outbound visits reached 71.3% of the corresponding figure for 2019.
The top destination countries in 2022 for outbound visitors from Georgia were largely similar to those before the pandemic broke out, with an exceptional difference in the case of Azerbaijan, which accounted for only 1% of outbound visits from Georgia, compared to 23% in 2019. This could be almost entirely explained by the strict land border measures maintained by Azerbaijan. In 2022, a significant proportion of the outbound visitors chose Turkey (54%) as their destination, followed by Russia (14%), the EU (11%), and Armenia (7%).
Among destination countries, outbound visits to Turkey recovered to 89% of the 2019 total, while for Russia it exceeded the pre-pandemic total significantly (by 49%).
OUTBOUND TOURISM INDICATORS
The distribution of outbound visits by the main purpose of visit in 2022 showed some differences compared to 2019. In 2022, the share of visiting friends and relatives in total visits declined by 14 pp, which could partially be attributed to Azerbaijan closing its land border with Georgia. Meanwhile, the share of shopping increased by 12 pp, becoming the top purpose of outbound visits in 2022.
The expenditure of outbound visitors in 2022 reached GEL 1.8 billion, which is just 12% lower than in 2019. Notably, the recovery of expenditure has been gradual, and in Q4 of 2022, this exceeded the corresponding figure for Q4 of 2019 by 5%.
The considerable recovery of expenditure could be partially attributed to an increase in the average number of nights spent in outbound visits. In 2022, the average number of nights spent was equal to 6.1, which is 2.17 nights more than in 2019.
The expenditure distribution in 2022 was similar to 2019, with the exception of a significant increase in the share of shopping (42% of total expenditure) and a decline in the share of recreation and accommodation.
HOTEL PRICE INDEX IN GEORGIA
In February 2023, in Georgia the hotel price index decreased by 1.6% compared to January 2023. The 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star hotel price index decreased by 1.6%, while for guesthouses, the price index decreased by 16.7%. The monthly HPI was the highest in Samtskhe-Javakheti (6.4%) and the lowest in Tbilisi (-5.4%).
In February 2023, compared to February 2022, hotel prices in Georgia increased by 9.2%. The prices of 3*, 4*, 5* hotels increased by 8.8% and the prices of guesthouses increased by 18.3%. The yearly HPI was the highest in Samtskhe-Javakheti (20%) and Adjara (20%) and the lowest in Mtskheta-Mtianeti (-3.7%).
Thus, by region, the increases in monthly HPI and yearly HPI were highest in Samtskhe-Javakheti, which could be attributed to the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships 2023 being held in Bakuriani.
THE AVERAGE HOTEL PRICES IN GEORGIA
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 140 GEL per night in February 2023, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 236 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 116 GEL per night.
The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in February 2023 was 392 GEL per night. In Kakheti, the average price was 562 GEL, followed by Tbilisi – 489, Samtskhe-Javakheti – 454, and Guria – 339.