Tbilisi (GBC) - Mariam Kvrivishvili, the Deputy Minister of Economy of Georgia, on Monday said the country had received over 1.3 million international travellers in the first three months of the year.

One million direct tourists - an 11 percent increase from the same period in 2023 - were part of the figure, with the number of international visitors from European Union countries at a “record high”, she said.

Kvrivishvili said the numbers showed the domestic tourism sector had “completely recovered” from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Compared to the same period in 2019, there has been a seven percent increase in international visitors, she also noted.

The Deputy Minister added tourist flows from European countries - in particular Germany and Poland - as well as Gulf states were increasing.

“The tourism industry in Georgia is maintaining an important dynamic, with diversification playing a key role [...] The country is continuing its policy of diversification to promote itself on the international scene and attract even more international travellers and income from the tourism industry”, she said.

The number of visits from EU countries and the United Kingdom has seen “record growth” with a 44.4 percent increase from 2019 figures, the National Tourism Administration said.

Poland was the origin of the highest number of visits in the first quarter with a 67.1 percent increase from 2019, followed by Germany with a 46.1 percent increase and the United Kingdom with 27 percent growth, the body said.

The number of visits from “high-spending” tourist markets has also increased, with a 27.9 percent increase from Gulf countries compared to 2019, a 33.5 percent increase from Saudi Arabia and a 66.3 percent increase from Kuwait, the Administration added.

The body said the data was calculated according to methodology developed based on recommendations of the World Tourism Organisation and measured completed visits.