Majority of foreigners entering Georgia still Russian
Russians predominate among foreigners in Georgia
In October the largest number of foreign visitors – 109,158 – came from Russia, according to the National Tourism Administration, an annual increase of 274%. Russians have predominated among foreigners in Georgia for the past five months in a row.
It should be noted that migrants are not separated from tourists in the country. Consequently, the citizens of Russia and Belarus who came to Georgia in connection with the war in Ukraine are included in tourism statistics.
Top 10 countries by visitors:
- Russia – growth by 274.4% compared to the previous year;
- Turkey – an increase of 126.2%;
- Armenia – growth 277.6%;
- Georgia (non-residents) – an increase of 72.2%;
- Israel – growth of 70.4%;
- Ukraine – growth of 3.9%;
- Azerbaijan – growth 64.1%;
- Kazakhstan – growth of 7%;
- Belarus – an increase of 89.2%;
- Iran – growth of 342.2 percent.
According to the National Tourism Administration, in January-October 2022, 4,391,082 foreign visitors entered Georgia, which is 188.5% more than in the same period last year.
According to the forecast of TBS Capital, a full recovery of tourism without migration is expected in 2023, and peak migration is likely to occur in the same year. In addition, the number of travelers to Georgia is expected to grow by 85% in 2023 compared to 2019.
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According to the Institute for the Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI), in the first seven months of 2022 a total of 1,598 people received Georgian citizenship, of whom 723 were Russians. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, 551 Russian citizens and eight Ukrainian citizens received Georgian citizenship as an exception.
According to the same IDFI data, from the day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to August 31, 45,349 Russian citizens opened new accounts in Georgian commercial banks. As explained by the organization, the opening of this number of accounts indicates it is migration, and not just tourist trips to Georgia.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian citizens have purchased 2,964 apartments and 37.9 hectares of land in Georgia, according to the Batumelebi magazine. Also, Russian citizens who entered Georgia have registered 711 legal entities, and 9,789 Russian citizens have registered as individual entrepreneurs.