Public beaches in Sevan fall short of meeting tourists' demands - opinions

18:18 * 30.07.14


The presence of public beaches in Sevan does not help avoid
privately-owned areas where the services' quality is rather low
despite the considerable sums charged.

With very many tourists spending their summer rest in Sevan, the
public beaches are very few in number to meet everybody's demands.
Most tourists are thus forced to go to the private beaches where the
prices range from 1,000 to 20,000 Drams (approx $2-$50) depending on
the kind of service preferred. But the private areas are not often
very clean, with gulls seeking food in waste dumps often striking
visitors' eyes.

Speaking to Tert.am, environmentalist Silva Adamyan attributed the
problem to poor management. She brought the example of Philippines
where she said the private beaches stand out with cleanness, quality
services, and affordable prices. "Go to the Philippines, not a rapidly
developing country, to see how they maintain the beaches there. You
will never see anything reminding you of waste, dirt and other things
of the kind. If they charge money, they do it for a good service. And
the sum is not so big as it is here," she noted.

The environmentalist said she thinks that the society itself is to
blame for choosing a dirty beach for money.

The mayor of Sevan, Rudik Ghukasyan, agrees that the situation in
their paid beaches is not very favorable for developing tourism, but
says they are taking measures to improve the conditions until next
year.

"We need a special program to develop tourism and to improve the
situation, but that program requires a financial component. Whenever
we hear that a tourism development program has been drawn up, such
statements are very often declarative in character. And they aren't
enough for developing tourism. I have submitted proposals to the
Government, suggesting a plan and a normal improvement program with a
proper funding; otherwise the services' quality will turn from bad to
worse by every year," he added.

Asked whether they know the private owners or have any idea of whether
they charge money legally, Ghukasyan replied, "We have to state with
regret that the money which a rentee pays for a privatized area is for
the whole year but he or she uses it for just 45 days. They use the
period to exploit the area to be able to cover the expenses in a way."

Ghukasyan said both the municipal authorities and the owners giving
their areas for rent know who they hand over the beaches to. "There
have been so many omissions over the past period that it isn't so easy
to put everything in legal frameworks. I am hopeful we will have the
project proposal approved by the end of this year to make it our
guideline," he noted.

As for the sums charged, the mayor claimed that they are absolutely
legal. But he did not mention a specific amount required for renting a
territory. "The prices vary from place to place, so I cannot say it
now," he added.


http://www.tert.am/en/news/2014/07/30/public-and-private-beach/