The number of international travelers increased by 176.7% in July 2022, compared to the same period of 2021, and declined by 34.7% compared to the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, the number of international visitors increased by 158.9% (2022/2021) and declined by 32.2% (2022/2019), and the number of international tourists increased by 115.3% (2022/2021) and declined by 19.4% (2022/2019).
In July 2022, the top countries of origin of international visits were Russia (156 737 visits), Armenia (103 906 visits), and Turkey (95 989 visits). Among the major tourism markets, the number of international visits from Belarus (65.6%), Kazakhstan (46.7%), and Saudi Arabia (21.7%) significantly exceeded the pre-pandemic figure (July 2019). Besides, the number of international visits from Russia (-1.5%) has almost returned to the pre-pandemic figure.
ENTRIES AND EXITS OF RUSSIANS, BELARUSIANS, AND UKRAINIANS
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the border-crossing statistics reveal significant differences in the number of entries and exits to and from Georgia made by Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians.
In June 2022, entries from Russia were approximately 45,000 higher compared to exits. The corresponding figure for Ukraine was around 4000, while for Belarus this number was equal to 3000. Throughout March-June 2022, the total number of entries by Russians was approximately 101,000 higher compared to exits, while for Ukrainians and Belarusians the corresponding figures were 27,000 and 20,000, respectively. The monthly differences (i.e. more entries than exits) were especially high for Russians in this period, followed by Ukraine and Belarus.
HOTEL PRICE DYNAMICS
In recent months, there have been notable increases in hotel prices due to a combination of factors, such as the partial recovery of international tourism, the rapid inflow of Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians since the beginning of the war, higher domestic tourism demand among Georgians, and the increase in prices for goods essential for hotel services, as well as the low base effect in February and March of 2022.
For the first seven months of 2022, the HPI was at its highest in February (17.7%), followed by March (14.9%) and July (13%). In general, the HPI was higher for guesthouses compared to 3-, 4-, and 5-star hotels. When compared to pre-pandemic values, the HPI was negative in January 2022 but positive for every subsequent month. The magnitude of the price change relative to the pre-pandemic values was at its highest in July (20.5%), followed by June (10.3%) and May (10.1%).
Throughout the past year, average hotel prices have been increasing steadily for all types of hotels with the biggest increase being for 5-star hotels. For guesthouses (25.4%), 4-star hotels (11.8%), and 3-star hotels (10.5%), the monthly average price increase for the year so far was highest in July 2022. Meanwhile, for 5-star hotels, the monthly average price increase (11.2%) peaked in May 2022.
PRICE INDICES FOR RESTAURANTS AND HOTELS
Key indicators used to observe price changes for accommodation services is the CPI change for restaurants and hotels and the PPI change for accommodation services and food services. Both indicators have been consistent with the observations from the YoY HPI.
The CPI for restaurants and hotels reached a peak YoY increase of 14.3% in July 2022, compared to July 2021. Meanwhile, the YoY increase in HPI in July 2022 amounted to 13%. Elsewhere, the PPI for accommodation services has shown some fluctuation throughout the last year as a whole, albeit since February 2022 it has been increasing sharply, peaking at 23% in June 2022. At the same time, the PPI for food services has also been showing some fluctuation, but of a smaller magnitude: a sharp decline was recorded at the end of 2021, followed by a relatively stable increase throughout 2022.
HOTEL PRICE INDEX IN GEORGIA
In July 2022, in Georgia the hotel price index increased by 13.3% compared to June 2022. The 3-star, 4-star, and 5-star hotel price index increased by 12.7%, while for guesthouses, the price index increased by 15.9%. The monthly HPI was the highest in Samtskhe-Javakheti (30.1%) and Adjara (22%) and the lowest in Kakheti (1.6%).
In July 2022, compared to July 2021, hotel prices in Georgia increased by 13%. The prices of 3*, 4*, and 5* hotels increased by 12.2% and the prices of guesthouses increased by 20.2%. The yearly HPI was the highest in Racha (24.2%) and Samtskhe-Javakheti (20.5%) and the lowest in Shida Kartli (-1.6%).
THE AVERAGE HOTEL PRICES IN GEORGIA
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 173 GEL per night in July 2022, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 276 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse8 was 118 GEL per night.
The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in July 2022 was 563 GEL per night. In Guria, the average price was 1001 GEL, followed by Tbilisi – 619, Adjara – 612, and Kakheti – 522.