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Tourist industry in Armenia optimistic

By Messenger Staff
Friday, March 13
The head of the Tourism Department of the Armenian Trade and Development Ministry Mekhak Apresian has made the optimistic statement that tourist inflow in Armenia in 2009 will increase by 10%. According to Apresian Armenia has the potential to achieve this increase despite the overall contraction of the tourist industry.

In 2007 world tourism increased by 6.2%, in 2008 by 3.3%. International organizations think that in 2009 there will be zero growth or at the best 1%, but Armenians still think that this tendency will not be manifest their country. In 2008 there were 558,000 tourists in Armenia, 4% more than in 2007.

There is a very interesting tendency in Armenian tourism. 60% of tourists visiting Armenia come from the Armenian Diaspora, and only 15-20% of tourists through organized tours..

In a report published by the World Economic Forum on March 4 Armenia is listed 91st of 133 countries in terms of compatibility in the tourist sphere, having been 89th in 2008. The report states that there are problems in Armenia concerning ecology, the legal system, the transport infrastructure and the availability of the internet. Apresian considers this criticism correct apart from the evaluation of the legal basis for tourism.