YEREVAN, February 12. / ARKA /. Armenian authorities expect the number of foreign tourists to visit the country this year to surge by 10%, according to Mekhak Apresyan, head of an economy ministry division in charge of tourism, who spoke today at a video conference between Kiev (Ukraine), Yerevan, Astana (Kazakhstan) and Chisinau (Moldova).
Apresyan recalled that tourism industry was declared by the government as a priority. He said the number of foreign tourists visiting Armenia has increased by more than 20 times in recent 15 years. They are mostly from Russia, Georgia, the EU, Iran and the United States.
"We have more than 24,000 cultural and historical monuments. This means there is one for each square kilometer,’ he said.
He said apart from historical and cultural tourism, Armenia is developing winter tourism, spa tourism, medical and agro tourism and a number of other types of tourism , as well as a unique tourist product – a mix that includes all these forms of tourism.
According to the National Statistical Service, the number of tourists visiting Armenia in 2013 increased by 9.7 % to 924,965 people. The number of Armenian citizens visiting other countries as tourists increased by 12.3% last year to 906,154 people. -0-