million tourists

This one is from couple months ago as well, February 7, to be exact. Government made an announcement that Georgia was visited by 1 million tourists in 2007. Not 920 thousand, not million and 23 thousand, but exactly 1 million. While I do not have as big of a problem with rounding, I have a problem with the number. It just seems overly large.

Ok, let's step back for a second. Imaging there were 10 international flights a day to and from Tbilisi (I believe there are less than 5 daily flights) and out of 150-something passengers that fit in a plane (keep in mind that large planes do not fly to Georgia much), 100 are foreigners. It's very generous estimate, but still. That would only give us 365 thousand. So, where do 635 thousand come from?

World Tourism Organization includes people who travel on business in the definition as well, but would an Azeri farmer bringing over a truckload of pomegranates be considered a tourist? Russian border was closed I believe all of 2007, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey would be able to supply more than half a million foreigners without a problem, but how many of them should be considered tourists?

What about those Americans/Europeans who cross Armenian or Turkish border every 90 days, just to get a new Georgian visa? I've crosses Georgian border with my fiancee many times (close to a dozen in 2007) and only on couple occasions was she asked what the purpose of her visit is. Response is always the same, "she's my spouse". It seems to stop questions immediately.

Who is supposed to be so stupid to take that statement without questioning it, who was the target?

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