Noyan Tapan News Agency, Armenia
Nov 22 2006

YEREVAN, NOVEMBER 22, NOYAN TAPAN. The average annual growth of
tourists visiting Armenia in recent years has made 25%. The RA Deputy
Minister of Trade and Economic Development Ara Petrosian said during
the November 22 press conference that in January-September 2005,
318,563 tourists visited Armenia, or by 21.3% more than in the same
months of the previous year. This growth rate was maintained in 2006
too: 372 thousand tourists visited Armenia in January-September of this
year, which exceeds by 18% the index of the year 2005. According to
A. Petrosian, if this growth rate continues, in 2-3 years the number
of tourists will reach 500 thousand.

Ara Petrosian said that in parallel with the development of
international tourism, internal tourism is also developing rapidly,
which shows that the living standard of the population has risen. In
1997, the number of internal tourists made 53 thousand, whereas in
2005, it made 268,664.

According to the deputy minister, 4-5 years ago, Armenians made up 75%
of the visitors to the country, while in the past 1-2 years, foreigners
made up 30-25%. Among visitors to Armenia are not only those from EU
countries, Russia and the US but also from South America, South-East
Asia and Eastern Europe. The average time of tourists' stay in Armenia
is 5-6 days, during which each tourist spends about 1,000 dollars.