Georgia’s Tourism Market Watch – December 2022
Highlights, December 2022
International visitors almost fully recovered in Dec-22, and we expect this trend to continue.
Total international visitors stood at 504,620 persons in Dec-22, up 213.9% y/y and recovering at 94.4% of 2019 level. This growth was predominantly driven by the increase in tourist arrivals recovering at 97.6% of 2019 level (up from 88.4% recovery in previous month). Recovery in same-day trips also accelerated, recovering at 89.8% of 2019 level (up from 57.5% recovery in previous month). Top country by arrivals was Turkey (39.5% of total), followed by Russia (17.7%) and Armenia (15.1%). Notably, number of visitors from Turkey, Russia, Israel, Ukraine, India, Belarus, Philippines, Thailand, Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia surpassed 2019 levels in December 2022.
We expect international arrivals at 7.7mn persons in 2023, which is full recovery vs 2019 and 64% y/y growth.
Tourism revenues continued strong growth, surpassing 2019 level since Jul-22 (explained by migration).
Tourism revenues stood at US$ 363.3mn in Dec-22, up 2.9x y/y and surpassing 2019 level by 67.2%. It should be noted that this figure also captures the impact of migrants (from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine) arriving in Georgia since Russia-Ukraine war started. We estimate that about 150-200k visitors (migration wave increased at the end of September due to "partial mobilization" of military reservists by Russia) from these countries relocated to Georgia for longer term than regular tourists. Russia accounted for 30.1% of tourism revenues in Dec-22, followed by Turkey (23.3%) and Ukraine (6.7%), while revenues from EU was 5.3% of total. We expect tourism revenues to increase by 15% y/y to US$ 4.0bn in 2023.