Domestic Tourists Spend Considerably More than Foreigners

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The FINANCIAL — From July-November 2011, 2,180,106 domestic tourists travelled within Georgia.


The FINANCIAL — From July-November 2011, 2,180,106 domestic tourists travelled within Georgia.


The total expenditure of domestic tourists during the five months was 1,271,554,072 GEL (784,909,920 USD). Tourism revenue from domestic tourists was approximately 60 million USD more than the total expenditure of foreign tourists during the whole of 2011.

Batumi, Mtskheta, Signaghi, Kvareli and Lopota are some of the most popular destinations among domestic tourists according to the Georgian National Tourism Agency (GNTA).

“Adjara has always been the most popular destination of tourists, but recently Lopota and Kvareli lake resorts have also gained huge popularity. Such resorts are great places to spend a relaxing time with one’s family. Residents of Tbilisi enjoy such places very much,” Beqa Jakeli, Deputy Chairman at GNTA, told The FINANCIAL.
Lopota is situated in Kakheti, near the city of Telavi, in the Lopota gorge. One double room in the Lopota Hotel complex costs 295 GEL per night. The price includes three meals a day, bicycling, water-bicycling, billiards, a swimming pool, tennis court, fishing and horse riding.

“The most active period for us is summer and autumn,” said Nanuka Shatirishvili, representative of Lopota Hotel. “Although winter weekends are also proving popular as many people enjoy coming to us to sip mulled wine by the fireplace surrounded by the tranquillity of the lake in winter,” she added. 

The total number of rooms in Lopota Hotel is thirty-two. “Our slogan is Time Stands Still with Us. I think it says a lot of things,” Shatirishvili said.

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HoReCa company m|group offers the hotel Kvareli Lake Resort and guesthouse Garden Kvareli Lake in the Kakheti region to interested tourists. There are nineteen rooms in the hotel. At weekends the price per night for two persons is 255 GEL for a standard room and 270 GEL for a suite. The cost includes three meals a day. The sorts of entertainment available include: a terrace bar, fishing zone, boats, water bicycles, mountain bicycles, walking paths, backgammon, chess, playing cards, darts, badminton and a children’s playground. 

The top weekend destinations among customers of the travel agency Discover Georgia are: Signaghi, Kazbegi, Dmanisi, Gori-Uplistsikhe, Davit Gareji, Vardzia, Kakheti (wine tours), Gudauri, Borjomi and rafting in the Aragvi gorge.

“Huge interest towards Georgian culture, nature and sporting activities are the reason for the popularity of these destinations. The prices vary depending on the demand of the tourists,” said a representative of Discover Georgia.

A one-day tour of Bolnisi and Dmanisi to visit the archaeological site of the first Eurasians costs 30 EUR. At the end of the XX century Georgian archaeologists and palaeontologists discovered the remains of skeletons of Homo erectus in Dmanisi, a site now popular with domestic as well as foreign tourists.

A one-day eco-tour of Borjomi costs 20 EUR per person. The price includes: transportation, visiting the Borjomi-Kharagauli Reservation, visiting Borjomi Park and the Romanoff Palace in Likani.

A two-day tour of Tusheti costs 40 EUR. Tusheti is the largest protected area in Europe, where they say that each stone has its history.

A tour of Mtskheta, Uplistsikhe and Gori costs 30 EUR. The tour lasts one day and offers the chance to visit the Djvari Monastery, Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, the ancient rock-hewn town Uplistsikhe, museum of the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin and 13th century castle of Gori.

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A cultural-cognitive tour of Kazbegi costs 30 GEL. A one-day trip offers visits to the Ananuri complex, mineral waters, Dariali gorge, Juta, Kobi, Sno, Museum and Gergeti Trinity Church.

More than 500,000 Georgians visited Tbilisi during the five month period of July-November 2011, 410,432 visited other cities and the largest number – 1,209,863 – travelled to and between villages. The majority of domestic tourists travelled with the purpose of visiting friends and relatives, 22% – for holiday, leisure and recreation purposes, while just 8% were specifically for shopping purposes.

Buses and minibuses are the dominant means of transport for tourists, making up the main mode of transport for 57% of travellers. 31% travelled by private vehicles, 6% chose trains and the remaining 5% – rented vehicles.

From the total number of tourists 36% stayed in hotels, 18% stayed in private houses and the remaining 33% did not spend the night at all.

Out of total expenditure of 1,271,554,072 GEL, food and drink took up the largest share of 390,521,905 GEL, meanwhile 289,301,664 GEL was spent on shopping, 234,576,873 GEL on domestic land transportation and 139,105,039 GEL on accommodation.



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