TBILISI, July 9. / TASS /. The daily price of hotel rooms in Tbilisi dropped by an average of 25% after the introduction of a temporary ban on direct flights from Russia on July 8, founder and head of the Federation of Hotels and Restaurants of Georgia Shalva Alaverdashvili told TASS on Tuesday.
"We can already say that on average, hotel rooms have become cheaper by 25%. I mean four and five star hotels. If you visit sites that offer hotel room bookings, you can see for yourself. Prices are falling," said Alaverdashvili.
Today, the average price in Tbilisi four and five star hotels per night is 1,000 lari (about $ 345).
On Monday, Alaverdashvili told TASS that 80% of hotel bookings were canceled at the Black Sea resorts tourists from Russia. According to him, "in total in the country, Russians have canceled up to 60% of hotel reservation." According to the National Administration of Tourism of Georgia, the estimated damage to the country's economy from a reduction in tourist flow from Russia will be about $ 710 million.
Earlier, general director of Biletix, Internet service for travelers Igor Konstantinov told TASS that the volume of airline tickets from Russia to Georgia fell by 30%, due to the suspension of direct flights to Georgia. Direct flights between Russia and Georgia have been limited since July 8, but some travelers purchase tickets for connecting flights with transfer in third countries. "Tbilisi is a top tourist destination with good dynamics of its development - about 650,000 Russian tourists entered Georgia [before the restrictions]. According to forecasts, the number of tourists could have reached 1.5 mln, if there had been no air travel ban. If we are talking about banning flights from Russia to Georgia, then the passengers have an alternative - transfer "said Konstantinov. He noted that prices for flights to Georgia increased by 13%.
On June 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a decree imposing a temporary ban on flights, including commercial ones, from Russia to Georgia starting July 8. On June 22, Russia’s Transport Ministry announced that starting on July 8; flights by Georgian airlines to Russia would be halted.
Russia banned flights to and from Georgia following the unrest that erupted in Tbilisi on June 20. The protests were sparked by an uproar over a Russian legislator’s address in the Georgian parliament. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the flight ban was aimed at ensuring the safety of Russians, who might run into danger in Georgia.
About 54,000 Russian nationals were staying in Georgia at the time when the flight ban was announced. According to Russian Transport Minister Yevgeny Ditrikh, roughly 4,500 of them still have not changed their flights so the Ministry has allocated additional funds to ensure they return to Russia until the end of the week.