Despite the financial crisis and contrary to UNWTO global forecasts, Armenian tourist arrivals have experienced stable growth during the first quarter of 2009.
According to the country’s National Statistical Service, 86,569 tourists visited Armenia between January – March, 2009 – a 2.8 percent increase compared to the same period last year. The Armenian Diaspora constitutes approximately 62 percent of the inbound tourist flow to Armenia. The remainder largely comprises tourists from Russia, Georgia, EU countries, the USA, and Iran.
The Armenian Tourism Development Agency (ATDA), in continuing the positive trend, reported a 38 percent increase in visitors at the ARMENIAInformation Visitor Information Center between January 1 and March 1, 2009, compared to the same period last year.
“We are expecting about a 10 percent increase this year in the number of tourist arrivals mainly from France, Italy, and Germany, as well as Iran and USA,” mentioned Mr. Mekhak Apresyan, head of the Tourism and Regional Economic Development Department at the RA Ministry of Economy at a recent press conference.
“Armenia’s annual growth in tourist arrivals has been 23-25 percent over the past seven years,” stated Mr. Apresyan. “A 9.4 percent increase was recorded in the number of the tourists in 2008 (558,443) compared to 2007 (510,287).”
The Armenian Tourism Development Agency (ATDA) was established as the government’s tourism promotional arm in June 2001. In partnership with private business, it aims to market Armenia in local and international markets and create programs aiding the overall development of Armenia’s tourism industry.