President Saakashvili said on August 31, that Georgia would “probably” have 3 million tourists or “even more” by 2012.
“When we said we would have 2 million tourists by 2012, one figure said on TV ‘what is he talking about? Saakashvili has annoyed us with his lies’ – we will probably have 3 million and even more by that time,” Saakashvili told journalists in Poti, where he said “the largest airport” in South Caucasus will be built in year and a half.
According to the Department of Tourism and Resorts number of foreign citizens coming to Georgia saw 0.3% increase in the first seven months of 2009 against the last year’s same period, after “a significant drop” in visits following the August war.
According to the same department, which is part of the Economy Ministry, 1.29 million foreign citizens came to Georgia in 2008, against slightly over 1 million in 2007.
Most of those visitors – 39%, arrived in Georgia for business purposes.
Only 20% of foreign citizens, who arrived in Georgia in January-July of 2008, came for “rest and recreation” purpose and 26% - to visit relatives, according to the Department of Tourism and Resorts.