Special offers to be made for tourists viewing Armenia as a transit destination
YEREVAN, JULY 3, ARMENPRESS. Armenia is ready to welcome Georgian and Russian tourists at best who view the country as a transit destination, be more attentive, present special offers, including staying in Yerevan for several days and using tours.
Susanna Safaryan, chairwoman of the State Tourism Committee, gave an interview to ARMENPRESS, talking about the topic.
-Mrs. Safaryan, what tourism result do we have with Georgia?
-According to the data of 2018, we hosted over 300.000 visitors from Georgia. The purposes of these visits are various, both for tourism and other reasons. There is an interest towards the country, we are trying to intensify the relations so that we will have much more visits from Georgia to Armenia and vice versa as a result of awareness raising in the two countries. We are trying to intensify the relations of privates in the two countries in order to be able to record a result. Compared to 2017, the figure of 2018 has declined nearly by 1%.
-Conditioned by the situation in Georgia, Armenia can serve as a corridor by helping the two friendly states, Russian tourists can visit Georgia via Armenia. What actions is the Committee taking in this regard?
-Without targeting tourists we are trying to show a unique attitude to each tourist who visits Armenia. If at this moment increase in number of Russian tourists is expected due to the current circumstances, and like the recent events show, our actions will be to welcome them at best, serve, and form special offers for the Russian market. Maybe they will be able to spend several days in Armenia in the transit area. The situation is such that the two countries view Armenia as a transit destination. In this case our actions will be directed for making this transit more smoothly. In other words, those tourists who will have problems with waiting for the flight time, we will offer them to spend some time in Yerevan, maybe a city tour will be organized for them.
-There are many talks on having joint tour packages with Georgia. To what extent this initiative has been implemented, are there any joint tour packages and are you going to expand them in the future?
-The formation and sale of packages are made through the private companies. The private companies have started to work with each other in the previous years, the joint proposals both by the Armenian and Georgian sides are the evidence of this. Both the Armenian and Georgian sides consider mutual visits if a group wants. We should try to strengthen this direction so that the whole world will recognize Armenia and Georgia as a one region, one unit. At the moment the private sector has developed business packages, the state also pays attention to them to start more confident and expanded cooperation as a result of which these tour packages will be presented at the states level. We will try to find bilateral cooperation directions, it can be in the form of joint tour packages, or joint marketing campaigns, or holding a joint event.
-Compared to the first quarter of 2017, this year the flow of Georgian tourists to Armenia has declined. What will improve the situation? In the first quarter of 2019, 326840 people from Armenia visited Georgia. In the same period, 74757 people from Georgia visited Armenia. What actions do you take so that Georgian tourists will visit Armenia with the same intensity like Armenians visit Georgia?
-Holding joint cognitive visits, information campaigns in the two countries will help so that the Georgian tourists will view Armenia as a destination for spending a weekend, like Armenians do. Usually, tourists visit such countries which differ from their home countries. Armenians prefer to visit Georgia for the sea, and we in our turn should present such offers which will be interesting for the people of a country having sea. I think the unique offers connected with adventure tourism, the urban entertainment, culture can be interesting for them.
-Please, mention the country the citizens of which visit Armenia the most?
-The most visits are from Russia.
Interview by Anna Grigoryan
Edited and translated by Aneta Harutyunyan