Visits to Georgia by foreign citizens reached 6,350,825 in 2016, a 7.6 percent increase compared to previous year, according to the data released by the Interior Ministry on January 5.
The Interior Ministry compiles statistics based on border crossing data.
In these data, travelers entering into Georgia and staying in the country for more than 24 hours are classified as “tourists”.
Of the total 6.35 million arrivals registered in 2016, 2,714,773 were identified as “tourists”, a 19 percent increase over 2015. The number of transits stood at 1,321,000, down by 5.7 percent compared to previous year.
Citizens from Georgia’s neighboring states make the largest share in total arrivals.
Azerbaijani citizens led the pool in 2016 with 1.52 million arrivals, up from 1.39 million in 2015, followed by Armenian citizens with 1.49 million, up from 1.46 million in 2015 (arrivals from Armenia topped the list in 2015); Turkish citizens – 1.25 million, down from 1.39 million in 2015 (arrivals from Turkey led the pool from 2011 to 2014); Russian citizens – 1.03 million (up from 0.9 million in 2015); Ukrainian citizens – 172,631 (up from 141,734 in 2015).
Number of visits to Georgia by citizens of EU member states increased to 262,106 from last year’s figure of 240,911.
Reintroduction of 45-day visa-free travel rules by Georgia for Iranian citizens in February, 2016 led to increase of arrivals from Iran to 147,915. There were only 25,273 visits from Iran in 2015.
International arrivals to Georgia stood at 5,901,094 in 2015, a 7% increase compared to 2014.