ArmInfo. Armenian Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan received a delegation from the Union of Incoming Tour Operators (UITO) and representatives of travel agencies to discuss development of incoming tourism in Armenia.
The press office of the Armenian Government reports that the meeting specifically focused on the need to raise awareness of our country's attractiveness and present Armenia's tourism products abroad, as well as on decentralization and international flights.
UITO President Ara Petrosyan noted that Armenian tourism companies are participating in international exhibitions aimed at best presentation of Armenia's tourism potential and attractiveness on foreign markets. According to Mr. Petrosyan, tourism services provided in Armenia - hotels, fast food, transportation, etc. - are competitive, and efforts should be made to get low-cost airlines involved in our country. It was also noted that recently there has been a significant increase in corporate tourism from Russia.
In this light, the Prime Minister urged tour operators to submit an action plan, which should clearly specify the functions of the State and the private sector. "Please formulate a feasible, logical, constructive, intelligent and well-coordinated program. Armenia should be recognizable to the outside world, and we must use all possible platforms to this end," Karen Karapetyan said.
He stressed the need to develop regional tour packages and build a regional tourism market, and went on to advise that the General Department of Civil Aviation has been set the task to ensure consistent development of the aviation sector. Work is underway to attract new air carriers into Armenia, including low-cost airlines. The tour operators' representatives raised issues concerning the introduction of the VAT and the licensing of travel agencies.
To note, tourism is one of the priority sectors for the Government of Armenia. According to the National Statistics Service of Armenia, as many as 1,259,657 people visited Armenia in 2016, 5.7% more than in 2015. A total of 1,262,687 left Armenia in 2016 for tourism purposes, 6.3% more than in 2015.