Monday, March 30 2020 17:28
Karina Manukyan

Due to coronavirus, in the first 3 months the losses of Armenia`s  tourism sector exceeded $ 134 million

Due to coronavirus, in the first 3 months the losses of Armenia`s  tourism sector exceeded $ 134 million

ArmInfo.The situation with coronavirus has undermined the tourism sector of Armenia. According to the chairman of the Committee on Tourism of Armenia Susanna  Safaryan at a March 30 press conference, in the first three months of  this year, Armenia lost about 175 thousand tourists compared to the  same period last year. Losses of the tourist field have not yet been  calculated, however, according to Safaryan, it is worth considering  that each tourist spends $ 770 on average in Armenia. Thus, this  figure may exceed $ 134 million.

Safaryan noted that the negative trend will only worsen given the  fact that borders are being closed all over the world and  restrictions on passenger flights have been introduced. According to  her, both in Armenia and around the world, tourist flows are reduced  to zero. With this in mind, the tourism and services sectors have  become the most vulnerable in connection with the situation with the  coronavirus, and bear losses.  Safaryan informed that in the oral  conversation many representatives of the tourism sector do not  exclude the possibility of closing the business. The main burden on  the tourist sector is the payment of salaries, utility bills and  taxes in the light of the almost complete absence of tourists.

The government is developing assistance mechanisms that can be used  by representatives of the tourism industry. This, in particular, is  the possibility of co-financing by the state of loans at the rate of  50/50, if these funds should be used to pay wages, utility bills and  so on. Organizations with a turnover of 24 million drams to 500  million drams in 2019, which will be provided with a facilitated  lending mechanism, can take advantage of another assistance  mechanism. In addition, according to a government decision, hired  workers affected by the coronavirus will receive payment within half  their monthly salary for January-February 2020: the amount will be  from 68 thousand drams to 136 thousand drams.

According to Safaryan, it will be possible to plan the tourism market  closer to the end of the year, when the situation is expected to  begin to stabilize, and travel agencies will be able to voice their  forecasts for 2021. 

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