Georgia estimated the loss from the Russian tourist traffic
In connection with the flight ban imposed by the Russian authorities, the tourist flow from Russia to Georgia will be reduced by 1 million tourists, which will significantly affect the economy of the Republic. This was reported by the head of the National Tourism Administration Mariam Kvrivishvili. “In 2018, 1.4 million tourists from Russia visited Georgia, and revenues of the tourism sector of Georgia from the Russian side amounted to 2 billion lari. In 2019, we expected 1.7 million tourists and 2.5 billion lari (more than $ 886 million). Thus, according to our forecasts, by the end of the year we will lose about 1 million tourists from the Russian Federation and lose up to 2 billion lari,” she said.
In addition, the National Administration also noted that the majority of Russians (80% of the 540 thousand visits) get to Georgia by air. Mariam Kvrivishvili added that they try to minimize such losses and are looking for new markets.
On June 21, 2019, the Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree “On certain measures to ensure the national security of the Russian Federation and protect citizens of the Russian Federation from criminal and other unlawful actions”, which prohibits Russian airlines to fly from Russia to Georgia. Later the restrictions spread to Georgian air carriers. In turn, tour operators and travel agencies were also recommended to refrain from selling tours to Georgia.