ArmInfo. The number of international tourist arrivals to Armenia increased in the first quarter of 2017 by 18.2% to 599.3 thousand, which was mainly due to the growth of visits by Iranian and Russian tourists - by 17.7% and 7.5% respectively. "It is followed by tourists from China and Germany, and France tops the list of five leaders, but the number of arrivals of citizens from these countries is significantly inferior to the flow of Russian and Iranian tourists," the head of the State Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Economic Development and Investments of the Republic of Armenia Zarmine Zeytuntsyan informed on April 18.
To stimulate tourism, she said, it takes time to conduct detailed research. In this context, she noted that Armenia conducts similar tours in Russia and Iran, however, experience shows that this market requires more in-depth research. At the same time, according to Zeytuntsyan, Armenia is not yet ready to receive Chinese and Japanese tourists due to the language barrier and the state of infrastructures. "The Russian market in this context is the closest and most understandable for us, but in the long term the State Committee intends to conduct research and develop contacts in the direction of the countries of the Persian Gulf, Western Europe and other countries with which Armenia has direct flights," she said.
According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, in January-December 2016, 1,259,657 tourists arrived to the republic, with an annual growth by 5.7%. During the same period, 1,262,687 people left Armenia for tourism purposes, with annual growth by 6.3%.