The number of tourists visiting Tbilisi, Georgia continues to increase at a rapid rate.
During the first half of 2017, the total number of international tourists visiting Georgia stood at 1,309,982 – a 29.1% increase over the same period in 2016.
The increases are even more pronounced when looking at international visitors arriving by air, with 2,071,720 passengers arriving at Tbilisi International Airport during the January through August 2017 period, up a massive 42.78% on the figures for the same period in 2016. This is in the main due to the rapid increases in the number of flights servicing the country, which has seen new routes to Tbilisi opening up all of the time. For example, Georgian Airways started the first direct flight from Tbilisi to London only in May of 2017. New routes continue to open up all of the time, with Amman in Jordan opening recently and Air Cairo announcing the launch of a new direct service from Cairo to Tbilisi to start in the autumn of 2017.
Today almost all capital cities in the Middle East have daily direct flights to Tbilisi, as is also the case with much of Central Asia.
As a result, the fastest growing number of arrivals to the city is currently coming from these areas. During the first half of 2017, the fastest growing market was Iran, with a massive 223% increase in numbers over the same period in 2016. This was followed by Uzbekistan with an increase of 163% and Saudi Arabia up by 159%.
Despite the number of direct flights to Western European destinations still relatively small compared to those to the Middle East, visitor numbers from the region also registered major increases over the first half of 2017 versus the same period in 2016. Austria was the star performer here with a 54% increase, followed by The Netherlands at 36%, Germany at 32% and the UK at 28%.
In addition to Tbilisi International Airport, many Western European visitors arrive in Georgia via Kutaisi International Airport due to the low-cost airline, WizzAir, offering several routes to and from the region. The increase in passengers arriving via Kutaisi was even more dramatic, up a massive 82.59% on the 2016 figures during the January to August period.
As a result of these rapidly increasing numbers, Georgia is now well within the Top Ten list of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world in 2017. With the route network to Western Europe still very much undeveloped and a constantly increasing recognition of the many attractions that Georgia has to offer to international tourists, it is certain that these growth figures will continue for many years to come.