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ISET Economist Blog

A blog about economics in the South Caucasus.
Jun
12

Wanna Get Rich? Make Batumi Your “Second Home”!

With 6.3 million tourists visiting the country in 2016, Georgia has become a popular tourist destination. In May, the number of international visitors (those who stayed in the country 24 hours or more) increased annually by 19% (compared to the same month in the previous year). While Tbilisi Airport is the main border-crossing point, in May, Batumi Airport overshot Kutaisi Airport, famous for its low costs flights, and experienced a 20% annual increase in the number of arrivals. The concert of legendary musical band “Aerosmith,” which took place near Bat...
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Jun
10

Is Less More When Hosting International Events in Your Home Country?

In just a couple of weeks Baku is going to host the second Formula One Grand Prix in its history. Being in love with motor races and inspired by the fact that for the first time in my life I will attend such an important race (and the Land of Fire); I tried to explore the economic impact of hosting expensive international events for one’s country. In 2017, the Formula One Championship will take place in 20 countries. Nineteen of these countries are either in the top 15 by the level of GDP, or are (net) oil and gas exporters. The only exception here is Hu...
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Dec
13

Is Georgia Heading towards an Oversupply of Hotels?

Citizens of Georgia’s capital recently witnessed the luxurious Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi grand opening. A $140 million investment by the Dhabi Group supplied the market with 214 luxury rooms and suits.  The $2 million opening, huge building and central location (right on Rustaveli Avenue) made the appearance of this hotel on the market very noticeable.  However, with much less lavish ceremonies, in total 37 hotels were opened in Georgia just this year, as reported by the Georgian National Tourism Agency (GNTA), which amounts to an additional 1,472...
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Recent Comments
Irakli Shalikashvili
Very interesting blog post about hospitality and supply of hotel rooms in Georgia. It is quite significant for Georgian economy th... Read More
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 2:02 PM
Eric Livny
By moving in different directions you have in mind greater local possibilities to travel (hiking, biking, jeeps, etc.)? I very mu... Read More
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 4:04 PM
Guest — Mike
https://travelcar.am/rent-a-car-in-yerevan
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 12:12 PM
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Oct
17

Khachapuri Index, Exchange Rate Dynamics and International Tourism

One glance at the ₾Khachapuri Index chart (for locals) tells the whole story of Georgian agriculture. Left to fend for themselves during the cold winter months, Georgian cows produce very little milk, sending dairy prices through the roof. Conversely, milk production peaks with the arrival of sunny weather and green fodders in early spring, leading to a collapse of milk prices. In the absence of large-scale industrial milk production (that does not depend as much on climate and weather conditions), the roller coaster image repeats itself, year in and yea...
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Apr
01

“Fly To Georgia” Program to Dramatically Improve Air Transportation Options to and from Georgia Starting October 1, 2016

As has been reported earlier, the recent deal struck by Georgian PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Wizz Air CEO Owain Jones led to a decision by the company to start – already in September 2016 – base operations in Kutaisi and launch new twice or thrice-weekly service from Kutaisi to Berlin, Munich, Milan, Dortmund, Larnaca, Sofia and Thessaloniki.  To follow up on this breakthrough development, the government has just unveiled plans to further expand the range, and dramatically reduce the cost of, regular direct flights between the TAV-operated Shot...
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Mar
21

BMW: Blocks My Way... Around Tbilisi!

The Quality of Living Survey 2012 of the international consultancy group Mercer ranks 222 cities in the world according to how livable they are. Tbilisi was ranked on Place 213, provoking furious reactions by many Georgians. On the internet, it is easy to find wild slanders against those who created the ranking and even against those who just referred to it, and there was even an online petition initiated against the ranking. Without any question, the survey does not capture crucial factors that impact the quality of life. Tbilisi, unlike Lagos in Nigeri...
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Guest — Eric Livny
I was talking to Jacques Fleury the other day and he made the same point about Tbilisi river banks. In most modern cities of today... Read More
Monday, 08 July 2013 2:02 PM
Guest — Lasha Nikolaishvili
I fully agree with the article. I think one reason for it is that development of Georgia was "devoted" to visitors from internatio... Read More
Sunday, 14 July 2013 9:09 AM
Guest — llabadze
This year I have visited few EU cities (Vienna, Prague, Stockholm) and I saw trams even on a very narrow streets without a traffi... Read More
Saturday, 16 November 2013 7:07 AM
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