Gagik Ginosyan, director of the Garin folk dance ensemble, told reporters today that Armenians should be more concerned with displaying their national customs and traditions, rather than giving priority to building hotels, if it wants to promote tourism.
Ginosyan said the government should be investing in the preservation of traditions that have been passed down through the generations in a natural, spontaneous fashion.
He also spoke about the need to pay more attention to promoting “village tourism”, i.e., giving foreign tourists the opportunity to visit rural homes and share a meal of traditional Armenian cooking.
Ginosyan added that Armenian song and dance should be incorporated in such visits to afford tourists a well-rounded taste of Armenian traditional culture.
Another important aspect in promoting such folk tourism is the celebration of national holidays.
Ginosyan noted that while the church has kept religious holidays alive, secular folk holiday celebrations have waned over the years. He argued that one of the causes is most likely 70 years of Soviet rule, where the national element was an object of ridicule.