Georgia estimated losses from the suspension of air links with Russia
Georgia estimated the economic consequences of the temporary suspension of direct flights from Russia. According to Georgian media reports, the tourism sector of Georgia will lose at least $ 100 million due to the suspension of direct flights from Russia.
The Georgian non-governmental organization “Banks and Society”, which is engaged in research of financial and economic processes, says about an even greater amount of losses in case of a total ban on flights between the two countries. According to these estimates, the damage to the economy of Georgia can be from 250 to 300 million dollars, which is 8-9% of the total income of the country.
According to Russian experts familiar with the situation, the Georgian tourist market is now “in shock” from the losses of the Russian market. “Essentially, Georgia has lost its fifth largest source market. To compensate this trend in the short term is impossible. We are talking about excursion and city tourism, health and gastronomic tourism, various events and MICE-tourists from Russia. And in this situation we are talking about organized tourist flow as well as about the loss of a large share of independent tourists. Not everyone wants to fly to Georgia with connections via Riga or Minsk and to spend twice much time for the road instead of 2-3 hours. Add to this figure airport fees and taxes for transit passengers. In this scenario, the Russian tourist flow to Georgia will decrease several times - to 300 thousand tourists per year,” suggests one expert.
According to RIA Novosti, the representatives of the hotel industry of Georgia will hold a meeting to discuss the decision of the Russian authorities to ban direct flights between the countries from July 8. The main measure of sales support on the Russian market are discounts for accommodation.
As participants of the Russian tourist market note, de facto price cuts have already occurred. “Georgian partners are already offering us hotel rooms in Tbilisi for $ 40 instead of $ 120 a few days ago,” one of the travel agencies said.
According to the National Tourism Administration of Georgia, in 2018, Georgia was visited by 1,404,610 citizens of the Russian Federation, of whom 1,083,874 people came with tourist purposes. In 2018, every fifth tourist in Georgia (21%) was from Russia. On average, the Russians stay in Georgia is 6.3 days. At the same time, in 2018, 30% of Russian tourists visited Georgia for the first time, 60% came to the country with a repeat visit. At the same time, 29% of Russians come to Georgia by air, 70% enter the country through the Kazbegi ground crossing point.
On average, last year every Russian tourist spent 1326 lari in Georgia (about 419 Euros).
According to the National Tourism Administration, in May of this year, Russian citizens made more than 172 thousand visits to the Republic, which is 53.2% more compared to the same period last year.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.