Not bad indicators were recorded in 2022. More than 1.66 million tourists visited Armenia; but it is a different matter under what conditions this number was formed, doubling compared to 2021. Mekhak Apresyan, President of the Armenian Tourism Federation, told this to a press conference on Thursday.
He explained that only a small part of the aforesaid number falls on organized tourism, as it is mostly about individual tourism. According to him, for the development of organized tourism, an appropriate tax policy should be implemented, and it is important to determine the number of tourists that can ensure the sustainable growth and development of the tourism sector.
Apresyan noted that in 2022, most of the visits to Armenia were made by Russian tourists; in particular, by the two waves of visits by Russians.
"The first, in February-March 2021 when the Ukrainian crisis had just begun. The second wave was due to the military mobilization announced in Russia. Those two waves received about 100-120 thousand visits [to Armenia]," the expert noted.
He reminded that the Armenian government has set a goal to double the number of visits to Armenia by 2026, reaching 2.5 million people, expressing the opinion that already this year the figure may approach the 2019 number—of 1.9 million tourists, and the figure of 2.5 million tourists can easily be ensured in the next two years.
Apresyan expressed confidence, however, that the reopening of the border with Turkey and the unblocking of communications can be a serious threat to Armenia if the latter is not ready for it.