According to the government's decision, the activities of Armenia’s tourism operators, agents, hotel service providers, tour guides, and escorts will become subject to notification.
From now on, those who carry out tourism activities in Armenia shall be notified to the Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Economy and the prescribed documents.
Requirements for tourism service providers in Armenia will be defined with clear standards.
"According to the current legislation, the rights and responsibilities of the tourist and the subject of tourist activity are not specified, the matter of oversight mechanisms for the sector is not resolved," Anahit Mkrtchyan, Head of the Policy Department of the Tourism Committee, said at a press conference Monday.
An online register will also be introduced, with which tourists visiting Armenia can check whether or not the given tour operator in the country is carrying out legal activities.
"Our competitive field and business investment environment are at risk, and defining these processes can regulate the [tourism] sector, ensure a fair competitive environment [in Armenia]," said, for his part, Mekhak Apresyan, President of the Armenian Tourism Federation. "As a result of this, everyone will be brought to an open field and work in an open tax system. There are companies [in Armenia] that work from home, do not pay taxes, provide very low-quality services, disrupting the environment and also reflect badly on the country's image.”
“It is also important that the work of tour guide operators is being regulated, they design the [tour] packages themselves, they have an influence on the image of the country, their work is also important. Whoever happens, as it happens, should not represent our country, but the country should be represented by tour guides and tourism operators who are patriotic connoisseurs," Apresyan added.
The oversight over the tourism companies in Armenia will be carried out by the local government agencies.
And the penalties will range from a fine to suspension of activity.