Georgia's alternative plan to lure Russian tourists includes Baku
Baku, Azerbaijan, June 25
By Tamilla Mammadova - Trend:
Georgia is considering the possibility of launching free bus shuttles from airports in Baku, Turkish Trabzon for Russian tourists, said the head of the Association of Hotels and Restaurants of Georgia Shalva Alaverdashvili, Trend reports via 1tv.ge.
He prepared a corresponding project for the Ministry of Economy and representatives of the tourism sector.
He went on to add that the mentioned free shuttles should bring Russian tourists to Georgia, via the mentioned airports in countries neighboring with Georgia.
Alaverdashvili also added that the final decision will be made jointly with the Georgian Foreign Ministry.
According to him, the owners of hotels in Georgia stated that they receive calls from Russian tourists who want to come to Georgia. Also, the country is considering the introduction of charter flights from Ukraine and Kazakhstan.
Alaverdashvili said that Georgia could suffer losses in the amount of $750 million a year due to the suspension of flights from Russia.
Hotel managers in Georgia acknowledged that the tourism industry in Georgia was dealt a “powerful blow” - in recent years, the flow of tourists from Russia has been growing very rapidly (in 2018, 1.29 million tourists from Russia, 11.8 percent more than in the previous year). In the first quarter of 2019, the flow increased by 26 percent.
Against the background of the unrest in Georgia, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on a temporary ban on Russian airlines from July 8 to fly to Georgia, and Georgian to Russia.