ArmInfo. Representatives of the tourism sector expect an increase in tourist flow from China to Armenia. Recall that the day before the Armenian-Chinese intergovernmental agreement on abolishing the visa regime came into force.
As the President of the Armenian Tourism Federation, Mehak Apresyan, noted at a press conference on January 20, in recent years there has been a tendency to increase the flow of Chinese tourists to Armenia due to the previously simplified visa regime. So, if in January-October 2018, 8430 tourists from China visited Armenia, then over the same period last year - 14500. Apresyan expressed confidence that the abolition of the visa regime will contribute to the growth of tourist flow, having also a tangible impact on the economic and political spheres. "This document will open up good opportunities for the business sector, positively affect the investment flow and strengthen the intercultural dialogue between the two peoples," he emphasized.
According to the expert, in order to strengthen the growth trend of tourists from China, it is necessary to take a number of measures aimed at more actively promoting the Armenian tourist product, setting clear quality standards in the service sector, as well as increasing the number of guides who speak Chinese. In addition, according to Apresyan, there is a need to create direct flights between Armenia and China. As the representative of the Guild of Armenian Guides Lusine Vardanyan said, tourists from China mainly prefer classical tourism, that is, visiting cultural and historical sights. At the same time, a significant part of Chinese tourists are citizens over 50 years old who have an impressive experience of visiting different countries of the world. According to the expert, in Armenia they are attracted not only by their rich history, but also by their beautiful nature, national cuisine and hospitality.
Vardanyan also noted that some tourists from China visit not only Armenia, but also other countries of the South Caucasus as part of the tour.
It should be noted that the goal of the Armenian-Chinese intergovernmental agreement on the abolition of the visa regime is to stimulate the development of friendly relations between Armenia and China, as well as facilitate mutual visits of citizens of the two countries. The agreement stipulates that citizens with ordinary passports, upon entering the country or in transit, will be exempted from the need to obtain a visa when they are in the host country for up to 90 days within six months. If the citizens of the two countries plan to stay for study or work, they will have to apply for a visa. We add that in 2020, 6.3 billion drams will be allocated from the state budget of Armenia for the development of the tourism sector.