Bounded by the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia has been known for its lucrative tourist industry, but tourism has stagnated since independence due to political and economic turmoil. Mt. Shkhara, the ancient capital, is home to the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, an 11th-century edifice that is the spiritual center of the Georgian Orthodox Church and a major tourist attraction. The present-day capital, T'bilisi, is over 1,000 years old and offers historic citadels, cathedrals, and castles as well as warm springs and dramatic mountain views.
In 2000, 387,258 tourists arrived in Georgia and receipts for that year totaled $413 million. There were 3,182 beds in hotels and other establishments with a 34% occupancy rate. In 2003 the US government estimated the cost of staying in T'bilisi at $220 per day.