How the authorities will save Georgia's tourism sector

The National Bank of Georgia has calculated the losses of the tourism sector: the authorities expand assistance to the industry

The Georgian government will spend 200 million lari to help the tourism sector, as the most affected by the corona virus pandemic

TBILISI. May 7 - Sputnik. Restrictions on domestic tourism will be lifted in Georgia from June 15, and from July 1 the country will be ready to accept foreign tourists, but due to the expected small number of tourists, the country's authorities have prepared a plan to save the tourism sector.

The tourism sector, which, according to preliminary calculations, employs about 150 thousand people, has suffered the most from the pandemic, and now the Georgian authorities intend to revive this sector as soon as possible.

However, he noted that in order for this to happen within a month, a lot of work needs to be done and financial assistance to companies in the industry to prepare for admission.

Extension of existing benefits

The Georgian authorities began to help tourism from the first days of the pandemic. For 6,118 tourism-related companies, property and income tax payments were deferred for four months until November 1. In addition, 2.2 thousand hotels with a capacity of up to 50 rooms received subsidies of 80% of a bank loan for 6 months. The companies also got the opportunity to restructure their loans.

Now the authorities intend to expand the volume of assistance to the tourism sector. It will affect the benefits provided by the government for business, as well as compensation and tax benefits allocated by the government for workers.

At the same time, at a new stage, the authorities decided to expand the range of tax benefits and extend their terms.

So, by decision of the government, the tourism business will be completely exempted from property tax payments in 2020. And the payment of income tax for employees will be postponed until the end of the year.

Expansion of benefits is provided for hotels. The Georgian authorities will offer hotels with a turnover of up to GEL 20 million subsidies of 80% of the interest rate on a GEL 5 million loan for 6 months. Also, the authorities will finance their participation in tourism exhibitions and help implement the safety standards provided by WHO.

Benefits for cafes and restaurants

The authorities have not forgotten about cafes and restaurants operating in Georgia. This sphere of activity continued to function in Georgia, despite the state of emergency and all the restrictions, though not quite in the usual role - to take away.

According to the new government plan, all cafes and restaurants in Georgia in 2020 will be exempted from paying property tax, and the payment of income tax will be postponed until the end of the year.

Six million tourists last year received Georgia - and this despite the fact that the country's population is less than four million. Experts of the tourism sector of this country told Sputnik how to improve the Belarusian tourism sector and make foreigners love our country.

MINSK, 7 Apr - Sputnik. Georgia, with its well-known Georgian hospitality, is perhaps the leader in the travel services market. Visiting the tourism exhibition "Rest-2017", industry experts from Georgia shared their vision of the reasons for success with Sputnik and gave advice to their Belarusian colleagues.

Spiritual Routes of Belarus

Last year the Department of Tourism of Georgia carried out an advertising campaign, and the demand for this direction among Belarusians has grown. To advertise Belarus as a tourism destination is the primary task of Belarusians.

"The Georgian government has decided not to interfere directly with the activities of travel companies," said Nona Markaryan, a leading specialist of the PR and advertising department of the Georgian Tourism Department.

"Belarus is a country with many attractions, with its shrines, monasteries, you can advertise spiritual tours. Besides, you have good sanatoriums that can also be advertised," the ex-mayor of Batumi and the general Ajara tour manager Irakli Tavartkiladze.

To make customs smile

"It is necessary to make sure that even at the customs office the tourist is greeted with a smile, and the uniform of his clothes is such that the tourist is not frightened," said Jaba Beridze, Deputy Chairman of the Department of Tourism and Resorts of Adjara.

He is sure that the tourist attraction of the state is in the details, and therefore even such seemingly trifles should be paid attention to.

Not just for Europeans

"It is not necessary to shape the market based on the needs of Europeans only. Batumi as a tourist destination, for example, is popular in Israel. You cannot dismiss the gambling business either. Now we are planning to attract China with its tourists - I think Belarus can pay attention to the same directions - China, Israel, Turkey. Tourists from these countries will be able to fill five-star hotels, "says Irakli Tavartkiladze.

He also believes that only five-star hotels are not enough to satisfy all the needs of the tourist. But the market must independently regulate which direction should develop in the hotel business.

The tourism sector, which, according to preliminary estimates, employs about 150 thousand people, has suffered the most from the pandemic, and the Georgian authorities will continue to provide assistance to this area

TBILISI, 3 Sep - Sputnik. For seven months from the beginning of the year, Georgia has lost about $ 1.4 billion from tourism due to restrictions associated with the spread of the coronavirus.

According to the National Bank, tourism revenues in January-July 2020 amounted to $ 468.6 million, which is more than four times less than in the same period last year.

Foreign exchange earnings in the tourism sector have dropped to a minimum, with a monthly drop of more than 96% since April.

For comparison, last year the income from international travelers in Georgia exceeded $ 3 billion.

Not only Georgia is bad

According to the World Tourism Organization, global tourism lost $ 320 billion in the first five months of 2020 due to the coronavirus, and international tourist flow decreased by 56%.

The damage caused by the pandemic was three times greater than that of the 2009 financial crisis.

According to forecasts of experts, at the end of the year, tourism revenues may fall from $ 910 billion to $ 1.2 trillion. This, in turn, will affect world GDP and reduce it by 1.5-2.8%. At the same time, the global tourism industry could lose up to 120 million direct jobs.

Expert on economic issues, Professor Soso Archvadze believes that Georgia's losses in tourism and the economy as a whole are lower than in European countries.

"If you look at the structure of GDP in countries with a similar share of tourism to Georgia, compared with them, the decline in the Georgian economy is 1.5-2 times less. I mean, first of all, countries such as Italy, France , Spain "- said Archvadze to Sputnik Georgia.

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