Tourism in Georgia
Currently, Georgia is demonstrating an active development of the tourism business and a rapid growth in international tourist flows. In a country with an area of 69,700 km², a variety of tourist, recreational and natural resources are concentrated on a small territory, allowing the creation of diverse tourist clusters. The World Wildlife Fund has recognized that no country in Europe has such a rich flora and fauna as Georgia. Georgia ranks 12th among the states of the world with a variety of landscapes. The country’s tourist and recreational resources are promising for the development of various types of tourism. The presence of the Black Sea coast contributes to the formation of recreational beach tourism.
There are 182 resort places in Georgia, 2400 mineral water springs, which is a prerequisite for the development of balneological tourism of international importance. The slopes of the Greater Caucasus Range, whose height exceeds 4000 m, make it possible to develop mountain-skiing tourism, mountaineering, speleotourism, ecological and hiking tourism. The presence of 120 thousand historical and architectural monuments, among which 4 are included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List, 150 museums contribute to the development of excursion tourism. 10 existing national parks are promising for the creation of tours of natural excursion tourism. Excellent opportunities in the country for agritourism, the formation of wine, culinary tours, both for domestic and foreign tourists.
Georgia has demonstrated one of the highest rates of tourism growth in the world during the period 2009-2019. The total number of arrivals to the country increased by more than 500% – from 1.5 million to 9 million people. The state strategy, all the measures taken, the hospitality and benevolent attitude towards the tourists of the residents of Georgia, allowed the prerequisites for the development of tourism to be realized and gradually made the tourism industry one of the foundations of the economic development of Georgia, giving rise to the Georgian “tourist miracle”. An important indicator of the development of the hospitality industry in Georgia is the return of visitors. Today, 75.8% are repeat visits. Tourists who enjoy their stay in Georgia often return again, and this is an indicator of the attractiveness of the country’s tourist complex.
Georgia has achieved impressive results. The “Strategy for the Development of Tourism in Georgia” adopted by the Government of Georgia was developed with the support of the World Bank. Tourism was named one of the priority areas of the economy. The strategy declares that tourism based on the principles of sustainable development is a promising direction for using the enormous tourism potential to achieve the goals of sustainable development in Georgia as a whole. The strategy is aimed at maximizing the degree of tourist satisfaction and further developing the tourism industry, the country can increase the number of received visitors to 11 million people per year and the expected further growth of the tourism industry’s contribution to the economic development of Georgia will be real. These optimal predictions are based on the following factors:
- Very rich in unique historical and cultural monuments, the country is able to offer to those who wish – Cultural and Informative tours
- Due to its location and an extensive network of large hotel brands – Business and Conference tours;
- Many protected areas with unique flora and fauna – Eco and Adventure tours;
- Unique balneological resorts with a healing climate, water, mud, etc. – Medical tourism;
- Ancient temple and monastery complexes located in each region of the country – Religious tours;
- With long experience in agriculture and animal husbandry, Georgia has a huge potential for the development of Rural and Agritourism;
- Mountains make up 85% of the country’s territory, which arouses keen interest of climbers and mountain trekking enthusiasts;
- Winter ski resorts – Gudauri, Bakuriani, Mastia – offer a full package of services;
- For those who love gambling, Georgia can provide world class gambling establishments, without restrictive legislation.
And, what is important for tourists who are going on vacation to Georgia, Georgia is famous for its unsurpassed hospitality. A tourist in Georgia has no nationality. He is primarily a Guest. That’s right, with a capital letter. The guest, according to the Georgians, was sent by God, and spiritual values for this people are perhaps the most important thing in life. There is practically no crime in Georgia, local residents often do not even lock their houses and cars. In recent years, good roads have been laid throughout the country, many hotels and guesthouses have been built. The country is beautiful at any time of the year. You can travel and relax in Georgia in any season, all year round there is something to see and enjoy.