Friday, October 13 2017 21:03
Naira Badalian

Alexander Khachatryan: Armenia has great potential for tourism development

Alexander Khachatryan: Armenia has great potential for tourism development

ArmInfo. Armenia has great potential for the development of authentic, gastronomic, in particular, wine tourism, religious, cultural and ecotourism. "Nevertheless, until the tourproduct is developed and expectations are determined on it, one can not estimate the amount of necessary investments, as well as assess the investment potential of the sphere," October 13 at the final press conference, responding to the question of ArmInfo, the head of the Center strategic initiatives Alexander Khachaturyan.

According to him, today the CSI participated in the development of the concept of development of the resort city of Jermuk. For this, first of all, studies were carried out of existing programs and ideas, investors willing to invest. Next, an expert was brought in, who assessed the potential of the city on the spot. The implementation of the project is currently estimated at $ 10 million.

The tourist product "Vanadzor as the center of industrial tourism" is being developed, within the framework of which it is planned to re-equip the old production buildings for concert halls, hotel complexes and recreation areas. Next week it is planned to present a concept for the project.

For the development of cultural tourism, the head of the SRC singled out the product "Symphony of Stones: Living Ballet in the Open Air" in Garni, following the example of Petra in Jordan. The product is ready and the ballet corpse will open the season next year, he noted. It is also planned to develop a special tourist product for cultural monuments "Zvartnots", "Amberd" and others. In terms of implementing special campaigns to promote the Armenian tour product, the head of the Center noted Let's Armenia promo actions, which took place in various cities of Russia, as well as the presentation of the Armenian tourist potential at the international tourist exhibition Leisure 2017. Khachatryan noted that at the Leisure 2017 exhibition, concept - sold the tourist direction, behind which was a specific tour operator. Speaking about the results of the work, he indicated 24% growth of tourism in Armenia. "Even an unprofessional view can be seen progress in the sphere," Khachatryan said.

At the same time, Khachatryan refrained from calling ArmInfo specific expectations for investments, both in terms of their volume and potential investors, since, he said, he only communicates with investors as an adviser. "The search for an investor is not included in the functional responsibilities of the Center for Strategic Initiatives. Our role is to contribute to the development of the economic agenda of reforms, as well as its formation and implementation of works that will contribute to the creation of a favorable investment environment," he said. According to him, he personally communicated with 5-6 foreign investors, who expressed interest in the sphere of high technologies, energy and agriculture.

According to Khachatryan, the studies showed that at the moment the Center has realized that the lack of a legislative basis for public-private partnership (PPP) also hinders the attraction of investments. "A number of organizations had a desire to conclude transactions in PPP, but did not do so because of" bad legislation. "Based on this, it was decided to develop an appropriate policy, and only then turn to donors and potential business partners wait for a quick investment, as the process requires an average of 2-3 years.

Not having received exhaustive answers to their questions, journalists asked to justify the reasonableness of the Center's activities and the salary budget of the team of 22 employees. According to Khachatryan, the budget of the Center is formed as follows: 100 million drams are directed from the state budget and 33 million from private sources. As he noted, they did not make a revolution, but only developed a new model through which the public and private sectors, through cooperation, implement the agenda of economic reforms in the judicial system and in the state administration, high technology and tax and customs administration, education, tourism, rural economy and PPP. "CSI serves as a platform where private traders together with the state implement joint projects," he explained.

The Center for Strategic Initiatives is called upon to develop a long-term strategy for the development of the economy. It operates on the principles of public-private partnership, and has become a platform where, with the participation of the private sector, one can talk about reforms and strategies. The official opening of the Center took place on January 12, 2017.

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