Tourism & Transport


European budget carriers ready to enter Armenian market: official
/Dec 26/PanArmenian/

European low-cost airlines are ready to enter the Armenian market, head of the country's Tourism Committee Hripsime Grigoryan told reporters on Wednesday, December 26.

According to her, a set of negotiations have already been held with a number of European budget carriers.

She said the airlines will most probably fly to Armenia’s second-largest town, Gyumri, which is home to Shirak airport.

Grigoryan said government support is a key condition for a low-cost airline to enter the Armenian market, citing assistance in promoting the companies' marketing policies as an example.

Only one budget airline – Russia's Pobeda – is offering relatively cheap flights to from Moscow to Gyumri.

Armenia sees almost 9 percent growth in foreign tourist visits in 9 months
/Dec 26 /ARKA/

YEREVAN – The number of foreign tourists visiting Armenia in the first  9 months of 2018 grew by  8.8% when compared to the same time span of  2017 amounting to 1,275,209 people, the head of the Tourism Committee Hripsime Grigoryan told reporters on Wednesday.
She said  the main stream of tourists came from Russia (525,423 people),  Georgia (233,125 people), Iran (132,829 people), also USA (46,138 people) and Ukraine (24 308 people). The number of tourists visiting Armenia from India has grown by 31%, from China  by 7% and from Kazakhstan by 83%.
"The main task of the Tourism Committee in 2018 has been to present the changes stemming from the velvet revolution , which have strengthened the country's image of a stable and safe destination for tourism," Grigoryan said.
She also said that 1.5 million people visited the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington, USA earlier this summer that focused on Armenia and several American tour operators included Armenia in their tour packages.
She also reported that tourism in Armenia is getting “younger,” meaning that more young people seeking  extreme, sports and festival tourism are visiting the country.

Armenia’s government approves plan of actions designed to upgrade Zvartnots and Shirak airports
/Dec 27/ARKA/

YEREVAN – Armenia’s government’s last session this year has approved today a plan of actions designed to upgrade the Zvartnots airport in the capital Yerevan and the Shirak airport in the second-largest town of Gyumri.
Acting Minister of Transport, Communications and Information Technology Hakob Arshakyan specified that the plan of actions calls for a repair of the 2,850 meter -long and 45 meter-wide runway at Zvartnots, estimated to cost $9 million.
He said another $4 million will be spent on the repair of the 270 meter-long and 24-meter-wide steering track "C,» the platform and the integrated perimeter security system.
The airport will also spend $9.43 million on the purchase of new anti-icing equipment and snow machines, as well as fuel tankers. Part of that amount will be used to modernize cars and buy new ones for the effective operation of the cargo terminal.
Also $1 million will be spent on the modernization of the platform at Shirak airport, which will allow Airbus A-320 and Boeing 757-200 aircraft to land and take off. Another $100,000 will be spent on the reconstruction of the registration hall, $900,000 on the expansion of the arrival hall, $2 million on the repair of the platform and $1.2 million on other expenses. 
The Shirak airport as well as the Zvartnots airport in Yerevan are run by the Armenia International Airports company that belongs to American International Airports, an Argentine company owned by Eduardo Eurnekian, an Argentine entrepreneur of Armenian descent.

2018 Armenia tourism grows 8,8%
/ Dec 26/

YEREVAN – The number of tourists visiting Armenia January-September 2018 has grown 8,8%, Tourism Committee president Hripsime Grigoryan told a year-end news conference.

“If in 2017 1 million 172 thousand 402 tourists visited Armenia, in 2018 the number of visitors amounted to 1 million 275 thousand 209.”

“525,423 of the visitors came from Russia,” she said.

Second most visitors come from Georgia, with 233,125 tourists.

132,839 tourists visited Armenia from Iran. 46,138 came from the US and 24,308 from the Ukraine.

She said that visits from India, China and Kazakhstan also grew by 131, 107 and 83 percent respectively.

Road supervision agency re-equipped with modern devices
/Dec 26/

YEREVAN – The HayAvtoJan (ArmAutoRoad) agency under the ministry of Transportation, Communication and IT has said that it is being re-equipped with modern hardware.

The agency is a governmental non-commercial organization that supervises roads and is also carrying out tests and expertise of road construction and construction materials.

It had been re-equipped with modern calculation and meter devices for calculating the flatness and intensity of roads. The agency said that soon its laboratory will also get new equipment.

It has three new laser-equipped special vehicles for metering the surface of roads. 30 intensity-calculators are positioned in several road sections of inter-state significance. It receives online data from the devices, enabling to supervise traffic in the given locations.

In winter seasons one of the most important missions of the agency is winter maintenance operations of roads.

International Conference of Tour Operators to be held in Armenia for the first time

International Conference of Tour Operators will be held in Armenia for the first time in 2019, Hripsime Grigoryan – chair of the Tourism Committee, told reporters today, reports Armenpress. She said the Conference will enable the tour operators to communicate and jointly develop Armenia’s tour packages and etc.

“After the official visit of Armenia’s acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to Lebanon, an agreement was reached to intensify the cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism. The Conference will be organized by the consent of Lebanese tourism minister Avetis Kitanian”, Grigoryan noted.

She added that the Secretary General of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will visit Armenia in early 2019.

“This year restoration works of a number of tourism infrastructures have been carried out by the World Bank’s loan program worth 55 million USD. At the moment the road from Garni to the Symphony of Stones, the road from Tatev Monastery to the Devil’s Bridge, as well as a number of central streets in Gyumri are under construction”, she said.

Hripsime Grigoryan said in 2019 huge amount of money will be provided for Armenia’s marketing promotion.

More than $38 million to be invested in Armenia’s airports
/Dec 27/

YEREVAN. The government of Armenia has approved the 2018-2022 master plan of Yerevan’s Zvartnots airport and Gyumri’s Shirak airport.

Caretaker minister of transportation, communication and IT Hakob Arshakyan said at the Cabinet meeting that the master plan gets updated once every five years in accordance to the contract.

The plan envisages nearly 38,2 million dollars investments that will result in ensuring ICAO standards, reach IATA service C level, improve security and conform with new international standards.

A 2800-meter-long section of the Zvartnots airport’s runway will be renovated, among others.

Reconstruction will also take place in Shirak airport, which will enable to ensure conditions for the operations of Airbus A-320 and Boeing B 757-200.

Romania’s flag carrier announces Bucharest-Yerevan direct flights
/Dec 29/

YEREVAN – Romania’s flag carrier, TAROM Airlines, has announced flights from Bucharest to Yerevan, Armenia, according to Financial News.

The airline said the direct flight service is expected to develop and expand trade and economic relations, including tourism, between the two countries.

TAROM is Romania's national airline, the largest and oldest airline in the country, based at Henri Coanda International Airport in Otopeni.

The Romanian government owns 95% of TAROM.