In terms of foreign trade, Armenia and Azerbaijan are of strategic importance to Georgia.
Tourism is no exception, as travelers usually visit exotic and exciting places in the neighborhood before going to distant countries. That is why Georgia is a tourist attraction for the region and never lacked Armenian and Azerbaijani visitors. Our country even had common tourism plans with Azerbaijan. The two countries were planning a joint tourism tour in 2020. They were supposed to create joint tourism packages for the third country representatives; however, the coronavirus postponed the planned cooperation in the Georgian-Azerbaijani tourism for an indefinite period.
In addition to the coronavirus, another factor hindering tourism in Georgia and the South Caucasus region is the Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict in Karabakh, which lasted for about a month and a half (September 27-November 9) and ended just four days ago.
Report.ge tried to determine how these two factors, the pandemic, and the conflict, impacted international visits to Georgia from Armenia and Azerbaijan. It turned out that despite the significant decrease in visits, these two countries are still in the top five when it comes to the number of international visits. The National Tourism Administration reports that 49 712 international visits got carried out to Georgia in October this year, which is 92.5 percent less than in the same period last year.
The largest number of international visitors came from neighboring Turkey, Armenia, Russia, and Azerbaijan.
This year more guests from Armenia visited Georgia than from Azerbaijan. Annually, the number of visits from Azerbaijan is much lower than from Armenia.
In October of this year, 3 924 visitors came to Georgia from Azerbaijan, a decrease of - 96.7% over the previous year. During the same period, 9 428 visitors from Armenia paid an international visit to Georgia, a decrease of - 92.2% compared to last year.
In September of this year, 3 964 international visitors came to Georgia from Azerbaijan, while in September of 2019, there were 145 485 international visitors. In September 2020, the number of visitors from this country decreased by 97.3% - 141 518 visitors.
As for Armenia, 9 770 people paid international visits to Georgia from this country in September this year and 128 670 in September last year. The decrease was 118 900 visitors or 92.4%.
According to tourism experts, the Armenia-Azerbaijan war harmed the region's tourism image, but now Georgia and the Caucasus region can quickly bring back the tourists.