ArmInfo. If the law on VAT, which is a tax burden for Armenia's tour operators, is not canceled it will be senseless to further hold dialog with government, Head of the Union of Armenia's Tour Operators Karine Davoyan stated at the official meeting of tour operators with acting Head of State Tourism Committee Zarmine Zeytuntsyan and Minister of Economic Development and Investments Suren Karayan. She also called the legal framework for tourism industry development non-adequate.
Karayan asked to discuss this issue at a separate meeting while at the current one to focus on voicing the problems and determining the approaches, which will be implemented within the general program of development. At the same time the Minister expressed readiness for cooperation and assistance instructing to hold similar meetings with the representatives of tourism field monthly. "We attach special importance to dialog in state-private sector format, as it will help us to define the main areas for development of the sector. We are ready to take aggressive steps, as tourism is one of the fields ensuring stable economic growth", he stressed. In turn Zeytuntsyan noted that in the future meetings with all those who is somehow connected to the tourism industry will be held particularly, with the representatives of hotel business, air ticket offices, organizers of events etc.
"The government considers tourism as one of priority sectors of economy development and in this context the Tourism Committee has been established. We should meet the challenges of the 21st century and ensure not only growth of tourism flow but improve well-being of population, attract investments and ensure sustainable economic growth", she noted. In a talk to ArmInfo's correspondent Head of Union of Armenia's Tour Operators Karine Davoyan stated that the law on VAT has negative impact on inflow of tourists to Armenia. According to her in average the number of citizens purchasing tour packages to Armenia has declined by 30% already. If the Tax Code is not amended the tour operators will have to increase the cost of tour packages, which will further reduce the number of tourists that is already low, Davoyan noted. "According to official data in 9 months of 2016 more than 1 mln tourists visited the country. However, one should not forget that in reality their number is much fewer as this amount includes the citizens, who arrive in the country for work purposes and stay at their relatives home for a time, and do not purchase tour packages", she stressed.
According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia 1 969 010.2 tourists arrived in the country, in Jan- Sep 2016 with 3.6% y-o-y growth, in the same period of time 903 541 tourists traveled abroad, with 3% y- o-y growth.