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Activity report 2023 of the Tourism Committee presented to the Prime Minister


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Under the leadership of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, activity report 2023 of the Tourism Committee was discussed at the Ministry of Economy.

Susanna Hakobyan, acting chairman of the committee, presented the report. It was noted that the budget of the Tourism Committee was 7.5 billion AMD in 2023, and it will be 13.2 billion AMD in 2024, which is conditioned by the planned new infrastructure improvement program.

Brief information on procurement and grant competition processes in 2023 by the Tourism Committee was presented. It was noted that the total number of tourist visits in 2023 has registered an exceptional increase, making 2 million 316 thousand 666, a 40% increase compared to January-December 2022, and about 22% compared to 2019.

It was noted that during the previous year the most tourists came from Russia, Georgia, Iran, USA, Germany, France, Ukraine, China, Belarus.

Prime Minister Pashinyan noted that this year, according to statistical data, certain changes in the structure of tourism have been recorded. For example, according to statistics, the number of tourists arriving from Russia has decreased compared to last year, but there is a certain increase in the number of tourists from other countries.

According to Susanna Hakobyan, there has been an increase in the number of tourists arriving from France, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates. "After some filtering, it became clear that an increase in the number of actual tourists arriving from Russia was also recorded. These analyzes exist," said Mrs. Hakobyan.

The Prime Minister asked whether all this is an indication that we are moving in the right direction in the field. "Undoubtedly, the statistics of the visits also show this," said the chairman of the committee.

According to the World Tourism Organization's "World Tourism Barometer", Armenia ranked 7th in the list of countries with the highest growth in tourist visits in January-September 2023.

The representatives of the Committee provided information on the progress and results of the activities approved by the decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia dated November 18, 2021 No. 1902-L “On approval of the program of activities of the Government of the Republic of Armenia for 2021-2026” for the year of 2023. In particular, activities aimed at improving statistics, developing a five-year tourism strategy, and improving infrastructure were presented.

A third study of international visits was conducted between January 2023 and January 2024. Thanks to surveys conducted at border crossing points in Armenia, it will be possible to obtain more accurate information on the geographical distribution of tourist visits, gender and age groups, travel arrangements, tourist spending patterns, repeated visits, etc.

The Prime Minister noted that the above-mentioned study could provide important information for policy development.

According to Susanna Hakobyan, the first such research was carried out in 2007, the second in 2012. "Very important data has emerged, firstly from a cost perspective. According to the data of 2013, the spendings of one tourist during the visit was 798 dollars, and the average length of stay was calculated to be 17 days. Now, from the point of view of spendings, there has been an increase, currently it is 1000 dollars for the average duration of stay in Armenia. And the length of stay decreased by one day - 16 days. There are peculiarities in this regard, the length of stay of Diaspora Armenians in Armenia is long, and this affects the calculation in the total number. But an ordinary tourist who comes to Armenia for vacation stays in our country for 6-7 days," said Mrs. Hakobyan.

Minister of Economy Gevorg Papoyan added that according to the results of the research, it was recorded that the number of non-Armenian nationals arriving in Armenia has increased in recent years.

Prime Minister Pashinyan also referred to the issue of the prices of tourist services and noted that this issue should be addressed with the following logic: is there a problem here or not? Nikol Pashinyan noted that the government's main message and plans to the private sector partners should be about reducing costs at the expense of business efficiency. "That is our right way, because our policy should be to increase the efficiency of businesses: energy efficiency, management efficiency, cost efficiency and so on," the Prime Minister noted.

During the consultation, it was also informed that on December 22, 2023, the National Assembly of Armenia adopted the Law "On Tourism", which will enter into force from September 1, 2024. In response to Prime Minister Pashinyan's question, it was noted that after the entry into force of the law, the activities of tourism service providers will become subject to notification, and in from January 1,2025, a new qualification system will be introduced for persons providing tourist services. "We have not had any information about tourist operators until now. At the same time, a requirement for financial guarantee was established for outbound tourist services, because we had several cases when, for example, the airline transported tourists abroad, but did not return them, and funds from the state budget were spent to return the Armenian citizens. Another important change is the requirement for mandatory requalification of tour guides, which is directly related to correctly presenting the country and history. The law will also address the guide's code of ethics," said Susanna Hakobyan.

Prime Minister Pashinyan emphasized that the adoption of the law is also important from the point of view of tourists. "When they get the message that this is a government-controlled function, its trust increases even more."

It was reported that roads leading to a number of tourist attractions were improved or reconstructed within the framework of the LEID project implemented in cooperation with the World Bank.

Other works done in 2023 by the Tourism Committee were also presented. In particular, in cooperation with the UNWTO, the "World Tourism Investment Forum" was held in September 2023, mutual familiarization trips were organized in a number of target countries, Armenia and the results of Armenian tourism were presented at prestigious international exhibitions, cooperation with a number of airlines was ensured, familiarization trips of journalists, bloggers and dignitaries were organized, support was provided for the organization of 16 cultural, gastro (kitchen and wine) and adventure festivals.

Then, the events planned for 2024 were presented. In particular, in September 2024, Armenia will host the UNWTO 8th Global Conference on Wine Tourism. The representative of the committee also presented the existing problems and obstacles in the field of tourism.

While summarizing the report, Susanna Hakobyan referred to the instructions given by the Prime Minister in 2023 and presented the process of their implementation.


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