President Armen Sarkissian met with the leadership of a number of tourist companies
Noting that this is his second enlarged meeting with representatives of the area of tourism, President Sarkissian suggested to hold it in a more practical atmosphere, to discuss concrete opportunities for assistance from the President of the Republic and presidential institute.
Leaders of the companies working in the area of tourism raised a number of problems, spoke in particular about possible steps for the rehabilitation of this sphere, which has a promising and great potential for our country, including the necessity of state assistance, and noted that after the previous meeting with the President certain steps in this direction have been made. The availability of the information on the regulations conditioned by the present situation is also critical.
President Sarkissian said that the information on the situation and the country and concrete areas is very important. From this point of view, the situation would be clearer if the tourist companies had their representatives abroad, received firsthand information and passed it on to their partners.
President Sarkissian agreed that foreign tourism market is a necessity, but stressed at the same time that it is important to concentrate on the local market, too. “One of the direction of your activities should be the internal market, and you should assist in developing domestic tourism,” the President said. “Your assistance to the development of this area I see mainly in the proper organization of works, quality of the service, certain conditions and requirements for ensuring the necessary level of sanitation. During last two weeks, I have been visiting different regions and saw different people. I noticed that people have started to think that they can give for rent one or two rooms in their even small houses, and it can become an additional source of income. Especially where there is no infrastructure and not every small village has a hostel.”
Speaking of the assistance provided by the presidential institute, President Sarkissian suggested in particular to create a working group and outline the main areas. “We can try to help you with international presence or with exhibitions in international structures and during international conferences,” the President of Armenia noted. “People need to learn about the country, need to know what Armenia is and what’s to be expected of Armenia.”
Armen Sarkissian spoke also of a number of programs and international events to be held in Armenia at the initiative of the presidential institute which will also promote development of tourism and promote greater recognizability of our country. “We are ready to cooperate with you in the framework of every program,” the President said. “Each of them in a sense is linked to tourism. The first is ATOM. It is a project for the development of artificial intelligence in Armenia and along with the city of artificial intelligence and cooperation with major companies and creation of joint ventures, it is also linked to the image of the country and comprises other programs. One of them is the Armenian Summit of Minds. And here too, we are ready to engage you as partners. The working group can work with us directly. Invitations have been sent out to nearly 3000 individuals of which we choose 300. It means that 3000 people will receive information.
The next is STARMUS. I believe we can start cooperating on this even today. These are events which can promote tourism. Many of the guests arrive with families, discover Armenia, establish connections.
The next is the Hay Park. It is a purely Armenian project which, as we expect will unite the entire Armenian nation – Diaspora, Armenia, and Artsakh. We plan to cooperate with you in the framework of this project, too. Another project is Gyurjiev Park, i.e. art tourism.
On all these initiatives we are ready to cooperate with you and assist. We are ready to be your partners so that our country finally has a general representative marketing plan and steps are made.
It is essential to think together with you what simple ideas, notions, mottos could represent Armenia. You know this better than anyone else because you interact with foreigners, know what they are impressed with, what stays in their memory after leaving Armenia.
I would like to assure you that we are always ready to assist you not only because the times are hard now but also because in a sense you are the vanguard of our country, and the country becomes recognizable also through you.”