Tourism surges in Armenia
During the first nine months of 2018, Armenia received 8.8% more tourists than for the same period of 2017, totaling more than 1,200,000 visitors.
Where do tourists visiting Armenia come from?
Most tourists came to Armenia from Russia: 525,000.
Georgian citizens were the next largest group, numbering 233,000, while Iran came in third at 132,000 tourists.
The most significant growth was recorded by tourists from India (131%), China (107%) and Kazakhstan (83%).
• Adventure tourism in rural Armenia
• Why do Iranians need Armenia?
• Unbelievable adventures of tourists in Georgia
Why did more Russians come to Armenia?
For New Year’s holidays, Armenia turned out to be the most popular foreign tourist destination for Russians. The demand for trips to Armenia this year increased by 76%. According to the Russian media, the situation is due to a decline in prices for air-travel tickets by 12%, as well as relatively inexpensive services.
Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan spoke about the increase in the number of tourists.
“This is, of course, a chance for many Armenian businessmen to play their part in the economic revolution and create solid foundations for a more powerful tourist boom in the summer,” he said.
And in order to maintain the positive trend, the Tourism Committee has provided foreign travel agencies with information about changes and the velvet revolution in the country. Their task is to “strengthen the position of the country as stable and safe for tourism”.
The department also reports that tourism in Armenia is “younger”, that is, more young people are now coming to the country. They are also interested in extreme sports and festival tourism.
Less Iranians coming to Armenia
This year less Iranians came to Armenia – strange, given that:
Traditionally a large number of Iranian tourists visit Armenia, but his year there was a decline in tourist numbers. In comparison to the first eight months of 2016, more than 160,000 people visited the country, and in the first nine months of this year 132,000 tourists visited.
The main reason for Iranians visiting Armenia is Nowruz, which begins in late March and lasts 13 days. In these two weeks alone, Armenia usually receives 20-25,000 Iranians, given that there are many religious prohibitions in Iran, while in Armenia there are none.
Nowadays Iranians can be found everywhere, ranging from museums to nightclubs.
Although European countries might be preferable, Armenia is closer and many come here in their own cars.