Economy minister expects tourism to start recovering from April

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YEREVAN, March 12. /ARKA/. Armenian Minister of Economy Vahan Kerobyan told reporters today that a set of measures implemented last year by the government to back travel and related companies may produce results starting this April.

According to Kerobyan, there are all the signs that the catering sector, which is an important component of tourism industry is recovering. The other components – hotels, travel agencies, transport companies- which have not made yet progress – will continue to receive government assistance.

“I can share the good news – the number of hotel bookings for April has increased significantly, and we hope that the impact of the coronavirus will not harm this trend. We hope that from April there will be a significant improvement in the tourism sector,”Kerobyan said.

According to the National Statistical Committee, the number of foreign tourists visiting Armenia in 2020 dropped to 375,216 from 1,894,377 in 2019. The number of Armenian citizens who traveled abroad last year as tourists dropped to 346,093 from 1,867,888 in 2019.

The National Statistical Committee said also the that these figures reflect only the data for January-March 2020, as well as for September, October and December 2020, since from April to August the country was closed to foreigners due to coronavirus pandemic.

On January 11, the government of Armenia extended the coronavirus quarantine for another six months until July 11, 2021. The nationwide quarantine was first imposed on September 11, 2020 replacing the state of emergency, declared on March 16 to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Along with extending the quarantine, the government removed and softened some restrictions. Thus, persons who are not citizens of Armenia can enter the country also through land border crossings if they produce a negative PCR test for coronavirus taken no more than 72 hours before their arrival.

If the test is carried out at a border checkpoint the person is to self-isolate until a negative result is obtained. Previously, this requirement was imposed only at airports. -0-

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