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Tourism in Abkhazia is technically illegal under Georgian law through an action of the Georgian government to ban foreigners from entering the disputed territory. Still, the Abkazian beaches on the Black Sea continue to attract foreign visitors aided in part by low prices for transport and accommodation, as well as the Soviet legacy of Abkhazia as a destination for tourists. Contents 1 Background 2 Attractions 3 References 4 Links Background The neutrality of this article is disputed. Please see the discussion on the talk page. Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (February 2011) Gagra Botanical garden in Sukhum New Athos Monastery Ritsa lake Abkhazia is a disputed region. Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru are the only United Nations member states that currently recognise the disputed territory as an independent nation.[1] During the time of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, Abkhazia's Black Sea beaches attracted tourists from a number of surrounding countries, constituting a 40 percent share of the country's tourism market. Prior to the 1992-93 war in Abkhazia, over 202,000 tourists visited the region every year.[2] It is illegal for foreigners to enter Abkhazia, as well as fellow breakaway state South Ossetia, without the knowledge of the Government of Georgia. Fines up to $1,200 may be levied for breaking this Georgian law.[3] Planes are also prohibited from landing at Abkhazia's airport.[4] In addition, Georgian authorities warn of increasing crime in the region, citing one case involving the robbery of a Russian official in July 2003. Georgia's Russian embassy issued a travel warning for Abkhazia in 2003, warning of incidents of serious crime.[2] Despite the risks involved, just under 300,000 tourists visit Abkhazia each year, mainly from Russia.[2][5] The attraction of visiting Abkhazia as opposed to other Black Sea coastal towns, such as Sochi, is the lower cost of visiting the breakaway state.[4] One night's accommodation in Gagra, for example, cost US$25 in 2003, with the cheapest hotel in the region setting a rate of US$12 for a room and meals in that year. A trainride from a Russian border town of Sochi to the Abkhazian capital of Sukhumi only cost US$1 in 2003. However, Abkhazia's tourism facilities are below Western standards, with much of its infrastructure dating back to the Soviet era.[2] Attractions Abkhazia lies on the coast of the Black Sea, and as such, much of its tourism appeal is derived from its coastal resort towns. A number of resort facilities exist in easy and cheap reach of Russian tourists, with Sukhumi and Gagra two of the most popular towns. Tourism is most prevalent in the region's north.[4] References ^ "U.S. critical about Nauru recognition of Abkhazia, S. Ossetia". RIA Novosti. December 17, 2009. http://en.rian.ru/world/20091217/157264795.html. Retrieved January 27, 2011.  ^ a b c d Chanadiri, Goga (August 22, 2003). "Abkhazia's beauty out of sight". Civil.ge. http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=4807. Retrieved January 27, 2011.  ^ "Abkhazian leader concerned over poor tourism services". Vladivostok: RIA Novosti. September 19, 2010. http://en.rian.ru/world/20100919/160643290.html. Retrieved January 27, 2011.  ^ a b c Weir, Fred (July 2, 2008). "Abkhazia's tourism fights to regain fabled legacy". Christian Science Monitor. http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-South-Central/2008/0702/p06s01-wosc.html. Retrieved January 27, 2011.  ^ Gvaramia, Gocha (July 22, 2010). "Tourist season in Abkhazia: so who is lying?". Expert Club. http://eng.expertclub.ge/portal/cnid__5460/alias__Expertclub/lang__en/tabid__2546/default.aspx. Retrieved January 27, 2011.  Links Tourist site of Abkhazia Republic Abkhazia Travel Guide on WikiTravel v · d · eTourism in Europe Sovereign states Albania · Andorra · Armenia · Austria · Azerbaijan · Belarus · Belgium · Bosnia and Herzegovina · Bulgaria · Croatia · Cyprus · Czech Republic · Denmark · Estonia · Finland · France · Georgia · Germany · Greece · Hungary · Iceland · Ireland · Italy · Kazakhstan · Latvia · Liechtenstein · Lithuania · Luxembourg · Macedonia · Malta · Moldova · Monaco · Montenegro · Netherlands · Norway · Poland · Portugal · Romania · Russia · San Marino · Serbia · Slovakia · Slovenia · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland · Turkey · Ukraine · United Kingdom (England • Northern Ireland • Scotland • Wales) · Vatican City States with limited recognition Abkhazia · Kosovo · Nagorno-Karabakh Republic · Northern Cyprus · South Ossetia · Transnistria Dependencies, other territories Åland · Azores · Faroe Islands · Gibraltar · Guernsey · Jan Mayen · Jersey · Madeira · Isle of Man · Svalbard