The Airbnb Industry In Georgia; Everything you need to know to invest in this field

When mentioning Georgia, many people pose the question – state or country? And here we mean country! Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi is becoming a progressively appealing city for tourists and investors from around the world. Although considered as an attractive country already for a long time, recent years revealed that Georgia is a new travel destination, especially for European tourists. The New York Times ranked Tbilisi 25th place among 52 Places to go. In 2018, 4,756,820 tourists visited Georgia, exceeding the year of 2013 by 1,872,525 tourists. Many tourists call it “The Country of Warm Welcomes”. Tourism revenue has risen up to 20% from 2016 to 2018. To sum up, The Airbnb industry in Georgia is growing really fast.

The Airbnb Market In Georgia

Accommodation in Tbilisi varies from luxury hotels to budget hotels, hostels, and Airbnb apartments. From the day of founding Airbnb in 2008, its popularity has grown, reaching more than 6 million listings in more than 191 countries. In Georgia, Airbnb generated a market worth 23 million USD in 2018. As for 2016, it was 4 million USD. The estimated income of 2019 is 42 million USD. 

86% of Airbnb travelers hope to feel like locals. Choice of Airbnb apartments in the capital of Georgia is diverse. The number of listings are increasing on a monthly basis, although almost all of them enjoy high occupancy. Airbnb listings compete a lot with local hotels and hostels. 

Tbilisi Airbnb accounts for 11% of market share, similar to peers, which have strict regulations and are more price competitive with the hotel industry. Taking into account the tourism boom continuing in Georgia, there is room for Airbnb growth in Tbilisi and other regions. This segment is expected to gain a maximum of 20% of the market size over the next 5 years on the back of low yielding visitors.

There are some regulations in big touristic cities, such as Paris, Amsterdam, London, Berlin. Owners can only  rent their properties from 60 to 120 days per year. However, the Tbilisi Airbnb market is unregulated and it won’t be regulated for the following years. 

Things To Think About When Operating Your Own Airbnb

It’s important to establish what you want to offer to Airbnb users. It might be:

  • Shared room
  • Entire place
  • Villa
  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Special type of property (cabin, ski chalet, beachfront villa, treehouse, etc.)

The second thing is to determine, why will the tourists want to stay with you and what can you promote in order to get their attention.

There are some key things potential guests may look for including:

  • Location – how far is your property from famous attractions, popular destinations, public transport, etc.
  • Available value-added services – supermarkets, cafes, restaurants on walking distance, nearby parks or laundry facilities.
  • Amenities you offer:  
    • Clean and private bathrooms with amenities (shampoo, toilet paper, soap, hair dryer)
    • Fully equipped kitchen (with condiments as well: tea, coffee, sugar)
    • Bedroom with windows
    • Closet or drawer space
    • Desk / workspace
    • Wi-fi
    • Iron and ironing board
    • Bedding, blankets and pillows
    • Television with cable TV

Quality photos make a big difference! Investing in taking high-quality photographs to show the maximum potential of your property  is well worth it. Ten photos of your listing is optimal.

When someone makes an inquiry or booking, respond quickly and with professionalism.

Running an Airbnb property can provide extra income, and it could even generate five or six figures in annual revenue for those who have multiple listings. If you satisfy all of these requirements, you will certainly be a successful host! 

Source: Galt & Taggart, Colliers International, GNTA

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