The number of international travelers increased by 228.5% in May 2022, compared to the same period of 2021, and declined by 50.3% compared to the same period in 2019.
Meanwhile, the number of international visitors increased by 205.3% (2022/2021) and declined by 48.3% (2022/2019), and the number of international tourists increased by 173.9% (2022/2021) and declined by 37.7% (2022/2019).
In May 2022, the top countries of origin of international visits were Russia (40 743 visits, Turkey (38 329 visits), and Armenia (32 743 visits).
Among the major tourism markets, the number of international visits from Saudi Arabia (1254%), Uzbekistan (372%), Belarus (139%), India (120%), and Kazakhstan (49%) significantly exceeded the pre-pandemic figure (May 2019).
ENTRIES AND EXITS OF RUSSIANS, BELARUSIANS, AND UKRAINIANS
Since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the border crossing statistics revealed significant differences in the number of entries and exits by Russians, Belarusians, and Ukrainians.
Conceding that some statistical discrepancies are possible, throughout March and April of 2022, the number of entries into Georgia by Russians, Ukrainians, and Belarusians was considerably higher compared to the number of exits in the same period.
The difference is especially high for Russians, followed by Ukrainians and Belarusians, indicating that a significant proportion of travelers from those selected countries have not left Georgia since arriving.
It should be noted that in 2022, such substantial differences were only noticed in March and April of this year.
OUTBOUND TOURISM DYNAMICS
Since the beginning of 2021, a growing number of countries around the world have eased their travel restrictions. Therefore, international tourism’s recovery has gained momentum. Globally, in Q1 2022, tourist destinations welcomed almost three times as many international arrivals as in the same period of 2021.
In Q1 2022, the number of outbound visits made by Georgian residents showed a drastic increase of 274% compared to Q1 2021.
The recovery of outbound tourism from Georgia has been gradual. In Q1 2022, the number of outbound visits reached almost half of the pre-pandemic figure (55% lower compared to Q1 2019).
The top destination countries for outbound visitors from Georgia were similar to the pre-pandemic breakdown. In Q1 2022, a significant proportion of the outbound visitors chose Turkey (46%) as their destination, followed by Russia (12%), Armenia (12%), and the EU (12%).
Meanwhile, in Q1 of 2022, Azerbaijan represented a standout case taking only 1% of Georgian outbound visits, significantly lower compared to 23% in Q1 2019. This could be almost entirely explained by the strict land entry restrictions maintained by Azerbaijan.
OUTBOUND TOURISM INDICATORS
The distribution of outbound visits by the main purpose of visit in Q1 2022 shows a similar pattern to those of Q1 2020 and Q1 2019. In Q1 2022, the main purposes of visit were visiting friends/relatives (31% of total visits) and shopping (31%), followed by professional (20%) and recreational (12%) purposes.
The expenditures of outbound visitors in Q1 2022 reached GEL 285 mln, which is 14% lower compared to Q1 2020 and 21% lower compared to Q1 2019.
The considerable recovery of expenditures could be partially attributed to an increase in the average nights spent on visits. In Q1 2022, the average number of nights spent was equal to 6.5 nights, which is 2.5 and 3.1 nights higher compared to Q1 2020 and Q1 2019 respectively.
The expenditure distribution is similar to previous periods (Q1 2019 and Q1 2020), with the exception of a significant increase in the share of shopping (40% of total expenditures) and a decline in the share of recreation (2%) in Q1 2022.
HOTEL PRICE INDEX IN GEORGIA
In May 2022, in Georgia the hotel price index increased by 8.1% compared to April 2022. The 3-star, 4-star and 5-star hotel price index decreased by 9.1%, while for guesthouses, the price index decreased by 6.5%. The monthly HPI was the highest in Guria (22.3%) and Adjara (10.9%) and the lowest in Racha (-15.6%).
In May 2022, compared to May 2021, hotel prices in Georgia increased by 8.9%. The prices of 3*, 4*, 5* hotels increased by 8.1% and the prices of guesthouses increased by 13.5%. The yearly HPI was the highest in Shida Kartli (28.8%) and Kakheti (21.4%) and the lowest in Adjara (-9.8%)
THE AVERAGE HOTEL PRICES IN GEORGIA
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 148 GEL per night in May 2022, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 255 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 105 GEL per night.
The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in May 2022 was 468 GEL per night. In Kakheti, the average price was 581 GEL, followed by Tbilisi – 558, Guria – 474 GEL, and Adjara – 457 GEL.