TBILISI, DFWatch – The former Soviet republic of Georgia is seeing a steady increase in foreigners visiting. Iranians account for the highest growth in visits.

According to the country’s Interior Ministry, 38.9% more foreigners arrived in Georgia in 2011, compared to 2010, thereby continuing a trend from previous years.

The number of visitors also increased in February. Compared to February last year, there were 35.1% more visitors to the country.

Breaking the February figures down by country of origin, indicators show 145.1% increase for Iran; 84.4% for Turkey; 24.5% for Russia; 23.1% for EU countries and 17.2% more visitors from Azerbaijan than in February 2011.

But Ukrainians and Armenians are not wanting to visit Georgia to the same degree, because the figures slightly decreased for guests from those two countries. In absolute numbers, the largest number of visitors have so far in 2012 arrived from Turkey, followed by Azerbaijan, Armenia, Russia, and other countries, EU, Ukraine and Iran.

57% of the visitors arriving through the Kazbegi border crossing from Russia, were citizens of the Russian Federation, 26% Armenians, 11% Georgians, 2% Ukrainian, and 1% citizens of other countries.