The number of international travelers increased by 538.3% in August 2021, compared to the same period of 2020, and declined by 77.3% compared to the same period in 2019. Meanwhile, the number of international visitors increased by 510.5% (2021/2020) and declined by 75.5% (2021/2019), and the number of international tourists increased by 615.2% (2021/2020) and declined by 67.2% (2021/2019);
Tourists coming to Georgia have customarily originated from a small concentrated selection of countries. Specifically, in 2019, 71.4% of all international visitors to Georgia came from its four neighboring countries. However, in August 2021, the corresponding proportion amounted to just 40.8%, mostly due to an increase in the number of visits from Ukraine, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan;
Targeting tourism markets with potential for expansion could be a fruitful approach in Georgia’s economic recovery as the pandemic eventually subsides. In particular, China, with an average growth rate in its number of visitors to Georgia of 54% over 2015-2019, and Kazakhstan, with a corresponding indicator at 36%, stand out as promising markets.
In Georgia, the average cost of a room in a 3-star hotel was 151 GEL per night in August 2021, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 268 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse was 95 GEL per night. The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in August 2021 was 514 GEL per night. In Guria, the average price was 807 GEL, followed by Tbilisi - 604 GEL, Adjara - 570 GEL and Kakheti – 546 GEL.
According to this survey of Georgian economists, the economic climate in the country in the third quarter of 2021 has improved compared to the second quarter of the same year. Georgian economists’ assessments of the current situation have generally improved, compared to the previous quarter and the corresponding quarter of 2020, but nevertheless remain negative. The economists’ predictions for Georgia’s economic situation for the next six months were also negative. Indeed, their expectations for this period deteriorated slightly, compared to their predictions in the second quarter of 2021 and the forecasts they made in the third quarter of last year.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to represent a major economic shock, causing considerable inflation volatility. The pandemic has been responsible for a substantial decline in inflation rates over the course of 2020 globally. However, this trend underwent a significant reversal in the first half of 2021. In this issue, we overview inflation trends in Ukraine prior to and during the COVID-19 crisis.
In the first half of 2021, external trade turnover in Georgia amounted to 6.2 bln USD, which is 20.7% more than corresponding period of 2020 and 0.5% more than the prepandemic period of January-June 2019.
Georgian exports amounted to 1.9 bln in January-June 2021, which is 25.2% more than in January-June of 2020 and 5.3% more than in January-June of 2019. Moreover, Georgian imports recorded 4.3 bln USD, which is 18.9% more than in the first half of 2020 and 1.5% less than in the corresponding period of 2019.
In the first half of 2021 Georgian trade deficit increased by 0.3 bln USD (14.5%), compared to the first half of 2020, and decreased by 0.16 bln USD (6.1%), compared to the corresponding period of 2019 and amounted to 2.44 bln USD.
In the period of January-June 2021, compared to January-June of 2020, trade turnover increased with the EU (9.9%), Russia (24.8%) and China (22.7%). However, compared to the corresponding period of 2019, trade turnover increased with Russia (12.3%) and China (27.9%), but decreased with the EU (-14%).
Georgia’s main total trade partners in the first half of 2021 were Turkey (15.2%), Russia (11.8%) and China (10.5%). Main export partners were China (15.4%), Russia (14%) and Azerbaijan (8.4%). Moreover, main import partners were Turkey (18%), Russia (10.8%) and China (8.4%).
In Georgia, the average cost of a room1 in a 3-star hotel was 149 GEL per night in July 2021, while the average cost of a room in a 4-star hotel in Georgia was 265 GEL per night and the average cost of a room in a guesthouse2 was 85 GEL per night.
The average cost of a room in a 5-star hotel in Georgia in July 2021 was 524 GEL per night. In Guria, the average price was 809 GEL, followed by Adjara - 550 GEL, Kakheti - 543 GEL and Tbilisi – 539 GEL.
After a challenging 2020 and early 2021 for the tourism sector, various positive developments, such as the alleviation of restrictions, were seen in the tourism sector in Georgia in the second quarter of 2021. As of July 2021, there are no restrictions of movement in place within Georgia, and both land and air borders are open for eligible visitors. Below is a timeline of the relaxing of various COVID-19 measures in the second quarter of 2021:
Since May 17, the curfew was moved from 21:00 to 23:00.
Since May 22, restaurants have been allowed to operate on weekends in open spaces.
Since June 1, restaurants have been allowed to operate on weekends in both open and closed spaces.
Since June 1, land borders have been reopened.
On June 14, tourism information centers around the country re-opened.
On June 16, mandatory PCR testing for visitors aged less than 10 was eliminated.
Since July 1, the curfew (23:00 – 04:00) was removed.
The Ukrainian Hryvnia’s exchange rates relative to foreign currencies experienced some noteworthy tendencies in 2016-2021. This period of course includes the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a significant impact on exchange rate fluctuations globally. In this bulletin, we review the exchange rate fluctuations in Ukraine in 2016-2021, as well as some of the key factors affecting it.
A year and a half since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the world has entered a new phase in which the race to vaccinate is shaping the path for post-pandemic recovery and economic growth. In this bulletin, we review the dynamics of the virus spread and the extent of the economic recovery being achieved by the countries of the Black Sea region.
In 2021, unemployment remains an unresolved obstacle for the Georgian economy and society’s most pressing problem. Over the years, diverse public opinion polls have indicated that unemployment is the most important issue at national level. For instance, in 2020, according to a public attitudes poll conducted by the National Democratic Institute, for 46% of respondents, the main challenge they were facing was unemployment.This issue focuses on changes in unemployment trends in Georgia in the period of 2017-2020 and provides an analysis of the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on unemployment in the country.