International company talks about coronavirus impact on Georgian tourism
BAKU, Azerbaijan, March 18
By Tamilla Mammadova – Trend:
In February 2020, the number of tourists visiting Georgia hit the lowest point within a year due the impact of coronavirus, Trend reports referring to the Policy and Management Consulting Group (PMCG), an international development consulting company, primarily focused on transitional and developing countries.
"In the reporting period, the number of international tourists in the country decreased by 29 percent (106,000 persons), which nevertheless is 13 percentage points higher than the average fall from January to February between 2015-2019 (16 percent)," said the company.
As reported, the amount of visitor trips from China to Georgia should have increased by 22.4 percent in February 2020 compared to January 2020; meanwhile, it decreased by 68.8 percent instead.
Amid the new coronavirus outbreak, Georgia has suspended direct flights with China, Iran and Italy, which remain the largest centers of the outbreak.
"It is unlikely that Georgian economy will have significant losses due to the decrease of international visitor trips from these three countries, as their total share of international visitor trips was just 2.7 percent in 2019," said PMCG.
However, according to the company, due to the number of coronavirus cases growing worldwide every day, with Georgia being no exception, it is hard to quantify possible adverse impact of the virus spread on the tourism sector.
"In February 2020, the number of visitors entering Georgia by air decreased by 10.3 percent compared to February 2019, and by 18.2 percent compared to January 2020," said the company.
As of now, Georgia has 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
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