International attorneys compare Armenian law on tourism to EU standards

On April 19, 2013, the USAID-funded Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) Project, the Armenian Ministry of Economy, the National Competitiveness Foundation of Armenia (NCFA), and the International Forum of Travel and Tourism Advocates (IFTTA) launched a two-day international conference on “Harmonization and Issues in European Travel and Tourism Law: Lessons for Armenia” in Yerevan.

The conference also serves as the Spring Meeting of IFTTA Europe, which has brought 28 leading tourism lawyers from across the world to the Armenian capital, including experts from Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Russia, Switzerland, the UK and the USA.

The conference focuses on tourism law issues relevant to Armenia in order to help Armenia avoid the obstacles experienced by other countries while harmonizing their tourism legislation within the EU framework. The event will address legal issues related to tourism development, planning, competition, consumer protection, harmonization of laws, passenger rights, and alternative dispute resolution issues, among other topics. The conference will allow Armenian partners to develop a comprehensive action plan for reforming and updating the Armenian legal framework for the tourism sector.

Minister of Economy Tigran Davtyan, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern, Chief Executive Officer of NCFA Arman Khachaturyan, and President of IFTTA Michael Wukoschitz delivered opening remarks at the conference, which was attended by three former Presidents of IFTTA, including John J. Downes of the USAID/EDMC project, leading European tourism lawyers and IFTTA members, as well as Armenian government officials, scholars and representatives of the international community.

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