Georgia’s Tourism Market Watch – May 2022
Tourism recovery accelerated significantly in May-22, witnessed by all key indicators: number of visitors, tourism revenues, Airbnb and hotel demand.
Total international visitors stood at 319,796 persons – up 205.3% y/y and accounting for 51.7% of 2019 level, highest in two years. This growth was predominantly driven by increase in tourist arrivals recovering at 62.3% of 2019 level (up from 52.3% recovery in previous month). Recovery in same-day trips remained low, but slightly accelerated, recovering at 28.6% of 2019 level (up from 16.0% recovery in previous month) reflecting gradual easing of regulations of neighboring countries. Top country by arrivals was Turkey (18.8% of total), followed by Russia (16.1%), and Armenia (13.3%). While low, number of visitors from Israel, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, India, Iran and Uzbekistan surpassed 2019 levels.
Tourism revenues stood at post-pandemic record high US$ 258.6mn in May-22, up 3.5x y/y and accounting for 95.6% of 2019 level (up from 70.6% in previous month). Markedly, this tourism revenue figure captures also migrants impact (from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine), arriving in Georgia after Russia-Ukraine war started. We estimate, that around 80,000-120,000 visitors relocated in Georgia for longer term than regular tourists. Russia accounted for 17.9% of tourism revenues in May-22, followed by Belarus (11.1% of total), EU countries (9.7%), Turkey (9.7%) and Ukraine (9.4%). We expect tourism revenues to recover at 85% of 2019 level in a baseline scenario, however considering strong May-22 figure and migrant impact, full recovery is also likely.