Russians go to Georgia by train, after air traffic is stopped
"The Georgian National Tourism Administration (NATG) shared statistics according to which 108 210 tourists from Russia visited the country in July 2019 instead of 127 060 in July last year. The number of Russian tourists who came to Georgia by railway (via Baku) increased by 85% compared to the same period last year, by sea way - by 57,9% and land way - by 7,1 %. Accordingly, if in July last year 124 990 citizens of Russia drove along Vladikavkaz-Tbilisi highway, then this year already 133 830 Russians chose a car to go to Georgia.
Almost 36% of the guests name vacation as the main purpose of their visit to Georgia, 21,6% - visiting friends and relatives and 15,5% - the desire to travel from Georgia to other countries. Among other goals, for example, is treatment (3.2%). Also, Georgia is one of the leading gastronomic tourism destination for the Russians. According to the Ministry of Economy of Georgia, the share of tourism in GDP since the beginning of the year amounted to 7,1%. In the first quarter, before the deterioration of Russian-Georgian relations, tourism revenue amounted to $ 578 million. This is 5% more than last year.
A new political aggravation between Russia and Georgia began in late June, which immediately hit tourism. The Russian Foreign Ministry urged ""Russian citizens, in the interests of their personal security, to refrain from traveling to Georgia."" Russian Tourism Agency asked tour operators to suspend selling tour packages to Georgia until the situation in the country normalizes. Air traffic between countries is stopped.
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.