Georgia lost over US $ 100 Mln in July-August 2019 over ban on flights from Russia – Tourism Chief

Georgia has lost about $113 million in the period from July to August due to the ban on direct flights from Russia, while the reduction of the Russian tourist flow to the country in September amounted to 20 percent, Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration Mariam Kvrivishvili said.

“Our country received $1.5 billion in January-July as a tourism revenue, which is 7 percentage points more than over the same period last year. The monetary measures of a single second quarter exceeded ones for the same period last year by 8.4 percentage points. We expected to get unprecedentedly high numbers in the third quarter based on these dynamics. In July, our country’s tourism industry lost $57 million, and $56 million in August,” Kvrivishvili told Imedi broadcaster in an interview.

The Tourism Administration head said that number of Russian tourists coming to Georgia also significantly declined.

“In September, the tourist flow from Russia fell by 20 percent that, of course, affects private sector, business and the tourism industry,” she stressed.

Moscow suspended direct flights to and from Georgia indefinitely on 8 July over security concerns after anti-Russian protests erupted in Tbilisi.

Relations between Moscow and Tbilisi initially worsened in 2008 after Russia recognized the former Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states and helped protect them from Georgian troops trying to re-establish control.

The situation escalated in late June after massive protests broke out in Tbilisi after a Russian lawmaker participating in the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy addressed the national legislature from the speaker’s seat, a move that was seen as offensive by Georgians.

Georgia in July-August this year lost a total of about 113 million dollars from the ban on direct flights from Russia, and the reduction in Russian tourist flow in September was 20%, the head of the National Tourism Administration of the Republic, Mariam Kvrivishvili, said in an interview with Imedi television.

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