Taleb Rifa: Armenia on the right track in the field of tourism

Liana Yeghiazaryan

The international forum of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) titled “Universal values and Cultural Diversity in the 21st Century” kicked off in Yerevan today within the framework of cooperation between the Armenian Ministry of Economy and UNWTO. Armenian Minister of Economy Tigran Davtyan and UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifa had a briefing with journalists before the conference would start.

Taleb Rifa, who’s paying his second visit to Armenia, regrets that he has arrived without his family and is determined to visit Armenia with his family next summer to enjoy the beauty of our country. Mr. Rifa has been familiar with the rich Armenian history and culture from the age of eight. UNWTO Secretary General says Armenia has chosen the right path for the development of tourism.

“Even the perspectives of the future in this country are based on history and rich culture. Armenia has demonstrated itself in the best way in the field of tourism. Your country is known all over the world. I have many Armenian friends in my Motherland. I’m sure people in every corner of the world know about your beautiful country thanks to people who once left the Motherland. Your culture is highly estimated around the world,” Taleb Rifa told reporters in Yerevan.

About 740,000 tourists visited Armenia in 2011. The Minister of Economy promises to surpass the number this year. The tourism season still continues, but the trends allow to make such predictions. Tigran Davtyan says it’s unprecedented that the World Tourism Organization holds its conference in Yerevan. He’s inclined to explain this by the importance of Armenia in the field of international tourism. At the same time, according to Davtyan, the congress and the declaration to be signed promise new perspectives of short-term and long-term development of tourism. Armenia has already declared the development of tourism as a priority and is working to improve the infrastructures – the airport, the means of communication and the hotel network.

The international two-day conference of the World Tourism Organization features representatives of RA Government, the private sector and diplomatic missions accredited to Armenia, as well as international experts from the United States, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Georgia and other CIS member states.

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