The FINANCIAL — Turkey tops the list of most popular summer destination for Georgians according to Georgian tour operators.
Despite the fact that the prices for trips to Turkey have significantly increased in 2011 compared to last year, Georgians still prefer to spend their summer vacations in neighbouring Turkey. Demand for European destinations has also increased compared to last year.
Spain, Italy and Prague are among the most commonly visited European destinations according to Georgian tour operators.
“Turkey remains the number one summer destination for Georgian tourists, mainly because of the easy customs service and low accommodation costs,” said Ella Karapetyan, Director of BusinessTravel.Com. “All inclusive service is quite expensive in Europe and hence most tourists from Georgia choose a simpler Bed and Breakfast service. For that reason, for the majority of holidaying Georgians it’s preferable to take a break in an all inclusive hotel with affordable prices in nearby Turkey.”
“Getting a Schengen visa for unemployed citizens is very difficult in Georgia, especially for people who can't prove their financial income, whereas they can freely visit Turkey. Turkish hotels offer the highest quality entertainment service, so people don’t have to visit many different places as they can have a fun time at their hotel. Antalya, Belek, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Marmaris, Alanya and Side are the most popular resorts in Turkey.
The price for a one week holiday at a Turkish resort starts from 850 USD for a double room. The price includes a round trip airline ticket, insurance, transfer and accommodation. The cost of 11 nights in Khurgada, Egypt, at a 4 star hotel for 2 people starts from 1,300 USD at Sky.ge.
According to Georgian tour operators the number of people visiting European countries has increased in 2011.
“The number of Georgians visiting Europe has increased compared to last year. Combined tours are one of the most popular products. People prefer such tours as they can save money and visit two or more countries in a short period of time. The Prague-Vienna-Barcelona tour is one of the most popular combined tours. The cost of such a tour starts from 700 USD for a week. Early bookings allow one to save another hundred USD or so. Our clients can choose different destinations and we will always provide them with the highest quality service,” said Lika Gugushvili, Owner of CG Tours.
“This summer Turkey is the leader out of the most popular destinations as usual,” Gugushvili said. “The cost of a tour for 3 people in one room at a 3 star hotel starts from 500 USD. The price of a tour in a 5 star hotel in Egypt’s Khurgada resort starts from 700-800 USD per person. The cost of a Prague-Italy or Prague-Spain tour starts from about 700-800 EUR,” Gugushvili said.
Georgian tour operator Intercontinental is offering exclusive 2-person tours to Egypt from 23 August to 2 September at a 5 star, all inclusive hotel in Khurgada for about 1,627 USD. This price includes ticket cost, insurance, transfer to hotel and guide.
Honeymoon tours have become more popular this summer according to some of leading Georgian tour operators.
“Spain, Italy, Vienna and the Czech Republic are some of the favourite destinations of Georgian tourists. The cost of a tour in Spain costs about 1,200 EUR. This price includes ticket price, transfer and Bread and Breakfast for two people for 1 week. The number of tourists aiming to visit Europe this summer has increased by about 20-30%. The number of people visiting European countries on their honeymoon has also risen recently,” stated BusinessTravel.Com.
“A wedding tour that includes in itself 2 days in Prague and 1 week in Barcelona, Costa Brava starts from 950 EUR. This sum doesn’t include a wedding arrangement price. We are going to actively promote this tour and cooperate with wedding arrangement companies in Prague. Georgian couples may be deciding to celebrate their weddings in Prague in the not too distant future,” Gugushvili said.
In recent times demand for trips to exotic corners of the world like Malaysia and Thailand has increased according to some Georgian tour operators.
“Singapore and Malaysia for a 7 day tour fare (based on minimum 15 paxs) with Twin Sharing costs 1,997 USD per person and a Single Room Supplement 300 USD per person. The tour fare includes: Return air ticket from Tbilisi to Singapore, 3 nights’ accommodation in Singapore at Lion City Hotel or similar class (3 star) hotel, 1 night accommodation in Kuala Lumpur Radius International Hotel or similar (3 stars) hotel, 2 nights’ accommodation in Malacca Everly Beach Resort Hotel or similar (3.5 star) beach resort, 6 Breakfasts & 6 Dinners, All transport & transfers by deluxe air-conditioned coaches, all entrance fees to places of sightseeing, Russian speaking guide and visa for Singapore,” Tikatours notes.
“6 nights and seven days in Ibitsa Piscis Park’s 2 star Bed and Breakfast (BB) costs 339 EUR, in Hotel Neptuno 3 star (BB) – 409 EUR, Tres Torres 4 star (BB) – 479 EUR, Quilibra Aguas De Ibiza 5 star (BB) – 949 EUR. The price includes transfer from the airport, insurance and hotel. This price doesn’t include air ticket cost, which starts from 450 EUR at the moment. People can spend their vacations in Ibiza from about 750 EUR,” Elite Tour noted.
Georgia is in 6th place in the list of Places to Visit in 2011 according to the New York Times. The first 10 countries suggested by the NYT in order are: 1. Santiago, Chile; 2. San Juan Islands, Wash; 3. Koh Samui, Thailand; 4. Iceland; 5. Milan; 6. The Republic of Georgia; 7. London; 8. Loreto, Mexico; 9. Park City, Utah; 10. Cali, Colombia.
Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities for 2011 are: 1. New York; 2. Tangier; 3. Tel Aviv; 4. Wellington; 5. Valencia; 6. Iquitos; 7. Ghent; 8. Delhi; 9. Newcastle; 10. Chiang Mai.