Mar 11, 2019

Number of tourists increased by 5.1% YoY in February 2019

Quick Update

  • According to the Georgian National Tourism Administration, the number of tourists went up by 5.1% YoY in February 2019, slightly weaker growth compared to the previous month. Same day trips decreased by 10.7% YoY resulting total number of visitors to decline by 1.2% YoY (see charts on the next page).  
  • Moderation of growth in recent months was mostly driven by decreasing number of visitors from Turkey (-19.8% YoY), Iran (-48.4% YoY) and Armenia (-10.7% YoY). Excluding the impact of these countries, the increase of incoming visitors remained broadly stable. At the same time, growth rate of visitors remained strong from the EU (+29.0% YoY). Also, visitors from Israel increased by whopping 198% YoY, impacting the overall growth significantly. As for CIS, visitors also went up (+2.0%) due to strong contribution of Russia (+14.7% YoY).
  • As for the inflows, estimated tourism inflows went up by around 6.0% YoY in USD terms. Inflows growth measured in EUR (+13.0% YoY) and GEL (+10.9% YoY) were much stronger due to the USD appreciation. Important to highlight that the number of visitors arriving by plane increased by 26.0% YoY in February. Such type of visitors have highest spending per visit compared to other types of visitors and make up around 40% share in total number of tourists. This indicates that the estimated growth of inflows could have been higher. 
  • As of 2018 total number of international traveler trips amounted to 8.7 mln out of which number of tourists (visitors staying more than a day) stood at 4.8 mln, same day trips amounted to 2.4 mln while the rest 1.5 mln trips were classified as non-tourism ones. Tourism inflows are estimated based on surveys, with different per visit spending depending on the type of the visit and country of origin. Estimates of inflows are periodically revised as updated information is available.
  • In February NBG bought from 50 up to 105 mln USD reserves  (5-10% of the same month GDP) - an indication of strong inflows and/or weak domestic demand coupled with lower oil prices (see note on FX interventions).