18.07.2016. Less than four years ago, in 2012 the worldwide known tourist guide Lonely Planet attributed to Georgia a title of top world destination. Afterwards, the US influential magazine New Yorker named Georgia as the place worth visiting in 2015 and, this year, the country has been acknowledged by CNN as one of the best tourist destinations. The growing world’s attention to this pearl of the Caucasian region can be said is primarily driven by the uniqueness of place, constant tourist infrastructure development, effective governmental initiatives, as well as efficient marketing strategy.
The recently published data by the Georgian National Tourism Administration shows that Georgia has experienced significant growth of the number of international arrivals: since 2014 the growth rate has been established at 14% while the worldwide index does not surpass 3.4%. Development of tourist industry has a noteworthy impact upon the economy of the country since its share in GDP amounted to almost 6.8% in 2015. According to some experts of the industry, the potential is still to be exploited better. For example, the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum ranks Georgia at the 71st place among 141 countries. The country has got the lowest score in a sub-index of natural and cultural resources (2.1% and 1.5% out of 7% correspondingly). These pillars concern attractiveness measures to promote natural and cultural World Heritage sites, the percentage of nationally protected areas, the number of large stadiums hosting significant events, the number of international meetings within the country, etc. This information unveils some areas for further performance improvement.