Monday, October 17 2016 13:10
Naira Badalian

Expert advises Armenia to develop Hi-Tech and stimulate Christian tourism

Expert advises Armenia to develop Hi-Tech and stimulate Christian tourism

ArmInfo. In the context of closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan Armenia should concentrate on information technologies and tourism for its economic revival. Dmitry Radyshevsky, doctor of philosophy and political analyst, founder and CEO of the international forum "Jerusalem Summit" told ArmInfo correspondent while discussing the possible ways to develop the country's economy.

According to him, the authorities must "make the best of Armenian brain and Armenian Diaspora".  Regardless of a huge potential in the field of IT, as the expert considers, the local bureaucracy and high taxes hinder its real development. "The politicians' task is to get rid of the above mentioned problems and provide an opportunity to Armenian youth and scientists to fulfill their full potential", stated Dmitry Radyshevsky.

The expert thinks Armenia possesses under-utilized capacity in the field of tourism as well and sees Armenia as a very beautiful country with ancient traditions that people know so little about. "It is the first Christian country but the world lacks that knowledge. Therefore, it is necessary for Armenia to promote itself and stimulate the development of Christian tourism",- declared Radyshevsky. For that purposes, he recommends improving tourism infrastructure, making it more diverse and possibly integrate with Georgia so that "if people have arrived from America they have an opportunity to visit both Georgia and Armenia at the same time". According to the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism of Armenia, for the first six months of 2016 the country has recorded growth of international visits by 2.5%,  the growth of domestic tourism was about 20,8%. In the past five years the growth of international tourism in Armenia has averaged 9% a year. On results of the year 2015 about 1,2 billion tourists had visited Armenia. The development of domestic tourism over the last five years averaged 14,5%.  Introduction of social packages significantly contributed to further growth in this segment of tourism industry. For the last five years more than 20 hotels, around hundred other facilities are built in the field, ten thousand guest-nights are created as a whole.

On results of 2015 the annual turnover of IT companies in Armenia increased by 21% and reached $425,5 billion. Taken as a whole for the 2010-2015 years the IT sphere has grown at an average 20,1% annually.  The domestic companies' portion in total turnover rose from 45 up to 50% in a year. There are over 450 companies and more than 13 thousand professionals in this field. In the first quarter of 2016 the net flow of American investments in the IT field of Armenia was 97 billion drams with annual decline up to 23,1%.

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