The number of international travelers increased by 184.9% in April 2022, compared to the same period of 2021, and declined by 62.3% compared to the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, the number of international visitors increased by 160.1% (2022/2021) and declined by 61.0% (2022/2019), and the number of international tourists increased by 140.5% (2022/2021) and declined by 47.7% (2022/2019).
In April 2022, the top countries of origin of international visits were Turkey (35,959 visits), Russia (33,556 visits), and Armenia (32,228 visits). Among the major tourism markets, the number of international visits from Belarus (220%), Uzbekistan (166%), Israel (10%), Ukraine (9%), and Kazakhstan (7%) exceeded the pre-pandemic figure (April 2019).
RECOVERY TRENDS IN EUROPE IN 2021
In 2021, globally, the number of international tourist arrivals showed a 4% increase compared to the previous year, however, it still remained well below the pre-pandemic number (72% lower).
The pace of recovery remained slow and uneven across the world mainly due to the varying degrees of entry restrictions, traveler confidence, and vaccination rates. Europe recorded the strongest year-on-year increase and recovery in the number of international tourist arrivals, increasing by 19% compared to 2020, while showing a decline of 62% compared to 2019.
In 2021, compared to 2019, the decline in the number of international tourist arrivals was the highest for Northern Europe (-82%), while Southern/Mediterranean Europe showed the lowest decline (-54%), followed by Central/Eastern Europe (-64%).
In 2021, compared to 2019, the decline of international tourist arrivals to Georgia (-69%) was higher compared both to European (-62%) and Central/Eastern European (-64%) averages, but lower compared to the global average (-72%).
INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL BENCHMARKING
It is worth analyzing the performance of the Georgian tourism sector in comparison with international benchmark countries, and within the regional context.
Among the international benchmark countries, in 2021, recovery in the number of tourist arrivals was evident in all of them, with Albania experiencing the most impressive recovery, almost returning to 2019 levels (only 11% lower). Meanwhile, Georgia performed the worst among these countries, with its number of tourists declining by 69% compared to 2019 levels.
It is also worth noting that for the other three countries, recovery was at its strongest in Q3 of 2021, while for Georgia the recovery happened gradually, with a decline of 90% in January (compared to 2019) but rising up to 54% in December 2021.
Within the regional context, Azerbaijan has not experienced a major recovery in tourism (-75% compared to 2019) while Turkey has experienced the highest recovery in 2021 (-45%). As for Armenia, its recovery in 2021 was considerably higher (15 pp) compared to that of Georgia.
HOTEL PRICE INDEX IN GEORGIA
In April 2022, in Georgia, the hotel price index decreased by 2.0% compared to March 2022. The 3-star, 4-star and 5-star hotel price index decreased by 1.7%, while for guesthouses, the price index decreased by 6.5%.
In April 2022, compared to April 2021, hotel prices in Georgia increased by 7.7%. The prices of 3*, 4*, 5* hotels increased by 6.3% and the prices of guesthouses increased by 15.9%.
THE AVERAGE HOTEL PRICES IN GEORGIA
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 141 GEL per night in April 2022, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 231 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 103 GEL per night.
The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in April 2022 was 413 GEL per night. In Tbilisi and Kakheti, the average price was 493 GEL, followed by Guria 398 GEL and Adjara 390 GEL.