Tourism & Transport

 

David McKenzie pledges to invest $3.5 million in promotion of Armenia as tourism destination
/Mar 15/ARKA/

YEREVAN, – Speaking today at a tourism conference in Yerevan titled “Tourism and the Film Industry: Prospects for Cooperation” the President of the Associated Television International production company David McKenzie promised to help shoot videos about Armenia’s tourism potential. 
McKenzie is the producer of the Architects of Denial, a documentary on the Armenian Genocide of 1915, committed by then government of Turkey. 
In the late 70s and early 80s Australia and New Zealand invited McKenzie to help develop their tourism industry. 
“Americans know only about one country – America and therefore our main mission will be to present to them Armenia and the reasons why to visit it,” said McKenzie. He said his first desire to visit Armenia emerged because of the stories of his Armenian father who told him about Armenian culture, history and cuisine. “In 2015, I had no reason to visit Armenia except for my roots and many people tried to dissuade me from it,” said McKenzie.
This is his 10th visit to Armenia. McKenzie said his main task at the moment is to promote the Armenian economy and the tourism industry in cooperation with the Armenian government. He said he is ready to invest $3.5 million in shooting high-quality videos about Armenia and donate them to local travel agencies, hotels and all interested parties for a more worthy presentation of the country in the international tourism market and, above all, in the United States and Canada.
In addition to video clips about Armenia, the entrepreneur is also ready to shoot and present a series of tourist programs, to place at his own expense advertising billboards and posters in the United States. ‘We will work closely with the Armenian government to create good programs and attract tourists,” said McKenzie.
David McKenzie’s wife, Laura McKenzie, journalist and author of Laura McKenzie’s TV program Traveler, who has already shot a series of programs on tourism in Armenia, believes that there is a huge tourism potential in the country.
“Armenia has a huge potential for the development of adventure, religious, gastrotourism, but they all need a serious presentation and advancement,” said McKenzie.
 

Iranians prefer Turkey to Armenia due to reduction of their affordability
/Mar 15/Aysor/

The number of Iranian tourists visiting Armenia during Novruz has considerably reduced. It is seen in the data provided by Tatev tourism agency, key agent of Iranian Aseman Airline private company.
Speaking to Aysor.am, manager of the tourism agency Sevak Davudyan said this year very few Iranians booked places in the agency if to consider that just few days have remained to Novruz.

“The main reason is the devaluation of Iranian currency toman which resulted in less affordability of Iranians. Toman is highly devaluated as compared with the past year,” the manager said, adding that this is the only reason of reduction of number of Iranian tourists.

Davudyan advised not to search for deeper reasons as in Armenia the hotel and other services provided to foreigners are quite affordable this year.

“All the hotels have reduced the prices. In not too expensive hotels the cost for two-bed room including breakfast makes 30,000 AMD, which means 15,000 AMD each,” he said.

As to whether recently the Iranians prefer to spend their holidays in Georgia due to higher quality of services and affordability, Davudyan said, they have sent an inquiry to the Georgia side who reported that the flow of Iranian tourists to Georgia is very weak.
“Currently they mainly head to Turkey as the hotels there offer very good conditions and are very affordable,” the manager of the agency said.
 

AI-based platform Travelinsights to help advance tourism in Armenia
/Mar 18/iTel.am/

Today Armenia has launched Travelinsights, an artificial intelligence tool designed to help improve the country’s emerging tourism industry by gathering real-time perceptions of services and popular sites.

Travelinsights aggregates and analyzes online reviews and helps understand the strengths and the gaps of the industry through the eyes of tourists.

Data scientists, programmers, designers and students and tourism industry experts were involved in the design process.

Led jointly by the Armenian government and UNDP and funded by Russia, the pilot project is expected to facilitate economic growth in Armenia.

Armenia’s National Sustainable Development Goals lab developed the Travelinsights.

“This tool could help us shed light on the sources of tourist satisfaction and dissatisfaction, manage industry vulnerabilities, develop destination marketing, as well as invest in new markets and services such as ecotourism or gastrotourism,” said Tigran Avinyan, Deputy Prime Minister of Armenia.

Travelinsights.ai will be a go-to platform for businesses – including restaurants, hotels and museums – that want to keep their finger on the pulse of the hospitality industry and improve their services.

The National SDG Lab is a joint undertaking of the government of Armenia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“Ultimately, the aim is to create a multiplier effect across industries and development goals, including decent work and better infrastructure. Innovative initiatives like these have the power to transform the way we do development,” said Mirjana Spoljaric Egger, UNDP Assistant Administrator, Director of the UNDP RBEC.

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