Main Factor Hindering Tourism in Armenia is Imperfect Legislation


YEREVAN, FEBRUARY 23. ARMINFO. The main factor hindering development
of tourism in Armenia is imperfectness of the legislation. Executive
Director of the Union of Tourist Operators of Armenia on Entry Tourism
Araik Vardanyan says talking to ARMINFO, Wednesday.

He says that the Union was registered in Dec 2004 and united 12
tourist firms, which has already distinguished them as serious
organizations in the native tourist market. Among them the director
mentioned “Intour,” “Armenian Tavel-M” Armen Tour Travel, “Sputnik,”
“Tatyans Travel,” “Avarayr,” “Menua Tour” Levon Travel and
others. Despite the fact that the Justice Ministry of Armenia has
registered over 4,000 firms allegedly engaged in tourism, some 50
companies are really engaged in the market, that is why the tourist
market has not been formed fully in the country, Vardanyan says. He
says that the official statistics that 260,000 foreign tourists
visited Armenia in 2004 does not correspond to reality as even those
arriving on business tours and employees of embassies, offices of
international organizations and even long-distance drivers from Iran
are calculated. He says that the Union was created just to study the
tourist market of the country, contribute to its development, organize
seminars and conferences on tourism in Yerevan and abroad, Araik
Vardanyan says.

As regards the imperfectness of the legislation in the sphere and in
particular of the law on tourism adopted in 2003 he states that
Armenia lacks 2-3 staff hotels, meanwhile tourists prefer just this
category of hotels. Besides, the country’s interregional roads are in
a poor state, there is lack of even toilets. Air tickets to Armenia
are too expensive, if a trip to Spain costs 600-700 EUR for average
European, a 3-4 daylong tour to Armenia makes up 1,000 EUR. State
mechanisms – taxation and customs services, local self-government
bodies, which receive direct incomes from tourism development, play an
invaluable part in solution of these problems. One should understand
a simple truth – tourist is industry that develops longing many
branches of economy. That is why these issues must be solved at the
level of the government and improvement of legislation, Vardanyan