Foreigners spent a record $3.5 billion in Georgia last 2022, the National Bank reported. That's $300 million more than in the pre-pandemic year of 2019 and 182 percent more than in 2021, when restrictions were in effect, Novosti-Georgia reported.
The increase in revenue is due to the recovery of tourism and a wave of migration from Russia, as Russians arriving for temporary residence have the right to stay in the country for up to a year with the status of tourists. Then they have to cross the border and the allowed year of residence begins again.
According to the National Bank, the Russians spent $891 million in Georgia - 2.3 times more than the second place - citizens of Turkey.
Tourists in Georgia spent the most at the peak of the summer season in August - $523 million. Citizens of Armenia were also in the top ten, spending more than $150 million.
Income from tourism is distributed by country:
Russia - $891 million;
Turkey - $399.4 million;
The EU - $333 million;
Ukraine - $282.3 million;
Israel - $270.5 million;
Belarus - $244.2 million;
Saudi Arabia - $159.8 million;
Armenia - $156.1 million;
Azerbaijan - $100.4 million;
Iran - $91.1 million;
Other countries - $589 million.