Georgia aviation market Part 1: tourism drove 26% growth in 2016; projected 40% growth for 2017

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Georgia has emerged as one of the world's fastest growing air travel markets in the world, driven by a booming tourism industry and a liberal aviation policy. This small country at the crossroads of Europe and Asia recorded passenger traffic growth of 26% in 2016 and expects even faster growth of approximately 40% in 2017.

Visitor arrivals increased by 8% in 2016, driven by a 40% increase in arrivals by air. Visitors now account for 75% of Georgia's total passenger traffic and tourism contributes to more than 7% of the country's GDP.

This is the first half of a two part report on the Georgia aviation market, providing a case study on how a liberal approach to aviation can have a significant positive impact. Other former Soviet republics, as well as small countries in other regions, can potentially learn from the Georgia example and stop protecting their national airline.

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