Number of Tourists to Armenia Up 12%; Most are Diaspora Armenians
770,055 tourists traveled to Armenia in the first half of this year, an increase of 12.3% compared to the first half of 2018, this according to Armenia’s Statistical Committee (CC).
71% of them are said to be diaspora Armenians, who either stay with relatives or rent apartments while in the country. The rest stay in hotels or other tourist-related lodgings. (By diaspora Armenians, we mean Armenians originally from the Republic of Armenia and those born elsewhere.)
According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization’s (WTO) International Recommendations for Tourism Statistics 2008 Compilation Guide, an international tourist is any person who travels from their permanent place of residence to another place to relax, receive treatment, visit relatives, for practical or religious purposes, or another purpose, for not less than 24 hours and not more than one year in a row.
Thus, the main purpose is to travel, not to work.
222,576 tourists stayed in hotel facilities in the first half of this year, an 59.6% compared to the same period last year.
Based on data from hotels, the Statistical Committee estimates that 26.5% of the 222,576 tourists were from CIS countries (mainly Russia), 25.2% from EU countries and 48.3% of other countries. Most of the EU tourists hail from Germany and France is the highest among the EU countries. The United States and Iran are among the other countries.
According to the Committee, more than half of the 54.4% of tourists arriving in Armenia in the first half of this year arrived for rest and recreation, 16.4% for business, 0.6% for medical purposes and the remaining 28.6% for other purposes.
In the first half of this year, the number of those who left Armenia for tourism was 684 808, an increase of 12.1% compared to the first half of 2018.
Less than 1% use travel agencies to organize their trips.
Most tourists leaving Armenia also went for leisure and entertainment purposes - 75.4%. 24.2% went for business purposes and the remaining 0.4% for other purposes.