ArmInfo. Minister of Economic Development and Investments of Armenia Suren Karayan, Executive Director of the Tourism Development Fund Ara Khzmalyan, accompanied by the Governor of Syunik region, got acquainted with the region's tourism potential and investment programs.
As the press service of the ministry informs, issues of formation of a more comfortable investment environment, as well as ways of public sector private sector development, were discussed. The working group, led by Suren Karayan, visited the village of Khndzoresk, got acquainted with the problems of one of the country's most unique sights. Then the members of the group visited the hotel "Goris", where the investor discussed the progress of the construction work. The owner of the hotel Senik Djulakyan stated that large-scale investments have already been made and after the completion of the works the hotel will be ready to accept 250 visitors. Visiting the customs point in Meghri, the minister familiarized himself with the conditions for providing information services in the tourist industry to visitors from Iran, and also discussed ways to increase tourist flow in Armenia. According to the State Committee for the Protection of Labor of Armenia, the number of visits of foreign citizens to Armenia in the first half of this year exceeded 1.3 million, which is more than the annual indicator by 24.3%. In TOP-3, the number of entries to Armenia included citizens of Russia, Georgia and Iran: the number of visits by Russian citizens increased by 33.7% to 241 thousand, the number of visits from Georgia exceeded 151 thousand, with an increase of 11% per annum. And Iran is topping the top three with 89.8 thousand visits, which is 27.4% more than last year. In particular, in the TOP-10 entered also the entrances of US citizens (17.5 thousand), Ukraine (12.7 thousand), the Philippines (10.9 thousand), Germany (7.8 thousand), France (7.6 thousand), India (4.3 thousand) and Poland (4.3 thousand). As the target markets in terms of attracting tourists, the head of the State Committee noted the Russian Federation, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the countries of the Persian Gulf and Western Europe, with which Armenia has direct flights. 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.
As a result of the planned activities for 2017-2022 aimed at developing tourism in the country, the Armenian government also intends to increase the number of tourists visiting the republic to 3 million a year.