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Armenia's Tourism is booming.

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  • #21
    Re: Armenia's Tourism is booming.

    Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
    It appears that we agree on the general idea but we disagree on its pervasiveness " but they are an overblown out of proportion minority.. ".Yes i am finely seeing some positive signs with some diasporans sending their kids to Armenia but the people i described are hardly "an overblown out of proportion minority". I would say they are the norm not the minority. Either way a positive sign is better then nothing and i hope sending young people to Armenia is the beginning of a long term trend which is exactly what we need.
    On the grand scale of things the majority of Armenians currently living outside Armenia don't go to Armenia, this is true. But this is not a unique thing reserved for Armenians that visit the Middle East. As in it's unfair to only target them just because they go to the Middle East. My initial point was their motivation for going there. What is an overblown out of proportion is people who consider the Middle East their homes and go visit there for this purpose. This is a common generalisation/misconception based on minority cases. I think visits to Armenia are becoming the trend and it's a positive sign towards the ultimate goal of repatriation. Steps like multiple visits especially at a young age set the groundwork for this.
    Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

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    • #22
      Re: Armenia's Tourism is booming.

      Why the hell should diasporans be expected to go to Armenia when that country's own citizens can't wait to get the hell out?

      Hayrenaser, indeed!

      Haykakan, maybe your comment would have been met with a less vitriolic (if apt, IMO) response if you had bothered to criticize the largest segment of the diaspora -- those based in Russia and the CIS. Even they prefer visiting other countries over the hayrenik. But no, you chose to take potshots at the "typical diasporans." Please spare us the condescension and lecturing.
      Last edited by TomServo; 08-29-2013, 11:18 AM.

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      • #23
        Re: Armenia's Tourism is booming.

        The Armenians in CIS and Russia visit Armenia far more often then lets say American Armenians and they send lots of money to support family.friends, relatives.. sure there are good reasons for this like CIS is way closer then America.. The diasporans do not deal with the same issues that the Armenians in Armenia have to contend with thus comparing the locals who have to make a living in harsh conditions to diasporans who just visit is not the same thing. I do believe you are the condescending one because you want to absolve diasporans of their failings while blaming the locals for things that are out of their control. The diasporan has a choice in how he/she decides to spend his/her time and money but the locals do not have much money and do not have many choices either. Perhaps the way you look at things are typical but your perceptions and analagies are off Mr Servo. Hayrenaser people are needed during bad times - anyone can be hayrenaser during good times.
        Hayastan or Bust.

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        • #24
          Re: Armenia's Tourism is booming.

          Going to Armenia seems a lot cheaper for me now that I live in the US. Roughly $580-$600 return trip in April is really decent (if you book ahead and find deals), and $8 isn't too much for a visa. So maybe someday.

          PS: Would like to go to Artsakh too, and I hear people get funny letters from the Azeri dictatorship if they enter without their permission. Think I would frame it if I got one.
          Last edited by hipeter924; 02-18-2014, 05:14 PM.

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          • #25
            Re: Armenia's Tourism is booming.

            Originally posted by hipeter924 View Post
            Going to Armenia seems a lot cheaper for me now that I live in the US. Roughly $580-$600 return trip in April is really decent (if you book ahead and find deals), and $8 isn't too much for a visa. So maybe someday.

            PS: Would like to go to Artsakh too, and I hear people get funny letters from the Azeri dictatorship if they enter without their permission. Think I would frame it if I got one.

            There's two visa options when entering Artsakh, one a loose leaf version, and a stamped version. The loose leaf version is preferable for non-armenians who might want to travel to Azerbaijan some day. The stamped version officially makes you an enemy of the state of Azerbaijan. Make sure to ask for that.
            <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>

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            • #26
              Re: Armenia's Tourism is booming.

              Originally posted by Mher View Post
              There's two visa options when entering Artsakh, one a loose leaf version, and a stamped version. The loose leaf version is preferable for non-armenians who might want to travel to Azerbaijan some day. The stamped version officially makes you an enemy of the state of Azerbaijan. Make sure to ask for that.
              I will keep that in mind.

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              • #27
                Re: Armenia's Tourism is booming.

                Originally posted by Haykakan View Post
                The Armenians in CIS and Russia visit Armenia far more often then lets say American Armenians and they send lots of money to support family.friends, relatives.. sure there are good reasons for this like CIS is way closer then America..
                And also because many are very recent immigrants to the CIS and Russia and still have family connections there, unlike many diasporans.

                Originally posted by Haykakan
                The diasporans do not deal with the same issues that the Armenians in Armenia have to contend with thus comparing the locals who have to make a living in harsh conditions to diasporans who just visit is not the same thing.
                Because the Lebanese and Syrian civil wars have been cakewalks for the super-diasporans.

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                • #28
                  Re: Armenia's Tourism is booming.

                  A love affair with Armenia

                  Amrah Ashraf, Hindustan Times
                  March 15, 2014 - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/brunch....QC0QIo4u.dpuf

                  Oh, another trip to Europe?” quipped a friend, after I told him I was visiting Armenia. “Err… Armenia is in Asia!” I said. He laughed and placed a bet that it was in east Europe, next to Georgia. “But Georgia is also in Asia,” I pointed out. We raised the stakes.

                  Long story short: I won Rs. 5,000. Armenia is in Asia. And so is Georgia.

                  I can hardly blame my friend. Armenia is incredibly obscure. But it’s got plenty to talk about. The country was the first one to adopt Christianity as its state religion (as early as the fourth century!); it has its own script and language and it was a part of the Soviet Union. The Kardashian family (they of the reality show, 72-day marriage and sex tape) originated from Armenia, though I doubt it’s a point of pride for any of its three million population.

                  This much I knew even before I visited. What I didn’t know was that it would only take only three days for me to be mesmerised by its beauty, seduced by its history and fall in love with its people. Here’s how it happened.

                  http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images...rmenia-665.jpg
                  The Courtship
                  My love affair with Armenia started in the most unusual way. Not a big fan of air travel, I woke up, startled, to bone-rattling turbulence. A vast expanse of blue, motionless water stretched out below, reflecting the sky above. Lurking somewhere in between were mountain peaks so close to the aircraft, I was certain we’d have speed breakers of the fatal kind. But one peak rose higher than the others, haloed by clouds, and glowing with a sunny amber hue. And there, amidst the jolts and bumps, I had my “at first sight” moment – and we hadn’t even landed yet!


                  Armenian men and women performing a traditional dance
                  Back on terra firma at the capital’s Yerevan Zvartnots International Airport, I took in a big gulp of fresh air, grateful to be alive. I spotted that gorgeous sun-kissed peak again, far away, between the clouds and the mist. On our drive to the historic Yerevan Hotel, where we were to spend the night, I saw the misty mountain again. But it wore a veil of grey clouds and I still couldn’t see my seducer.

                  Our tour guide, Anna Stepanyak, told me the peaks would reveal themselves that afternoon. But they didn’t. It was an unusually dull and dusty day. And thus began the game of hide and seek.
                  Thankfully, we spent the hot afternoon indoors at the Matenadaran, one of the world’s oldest repositories of ancient manuscripts. A giant statue of Mesrop Mashtots – the man who compiled the Armenian alphabet in 396 AD – greeted us at the entrance. Once inside, we ambled from shelf to shelf looking at the manuscripts, learning the history behind each – one dating back to 887AD, another written in pure gold.
                  When we walked out of the Matenadaran, dusk was upon us. I thought of those peaks again, but now the sky bore a dull shade of grey and the peaks were lost in the opaque sky.

                  Mother Armenia, a female warrior, overlooks all of Yerevan
                  Miffed, I was still willing to give Yerevan a chance to seduce me. Instead, we were made to do some customary touristy things – pay our respects to Mother Armenia, a war museum and a reminder of the Nagorno-Karabakh war of 1991; visit the Cascades for an aerial view of the city and take pictures at Republic Square. Charming, but meh!
                  My eyes instead were drawn to Armenia’s cobbled streets, small taverns that reeked of brandy, breezy cafés, and bustling crowds. I saw young ladies strutting in high heels, boys eyeing them while puffing on cigarettes and kids running around City Square. The city was impressive, but I was still waiting for that something special. As I walked around the city, I realised that a country, so alien to me, still made me feel right at home – a restaurant we dined at played Bollywood songs just for us, everyone knows of Mithun Chakraborty, and on our way back, we crossed the Indian Street. It’s named after a cinema hall that used to play old Bollywood movies exclusively.
                  That night as we walked, laughed, talked and ate, I realised that I had developed a small crush on Armenia.
                  The Relationship
                  The following morning, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. The previous night, the city had charmed me. And I was ready to be swept off my feet. That morning, as we drove south through the arid Ararat valley, I didn’t think much of the surroundings. But a sharp turn sprung a surprise. Something rose from the horizon, something large and majestic.
                  And there they were – the biblical Mount Ararat, the twin peaks where Noah’s Ark is said to have come to rest after the Great Flood. This time, the mountains were free of clouds. Transfixed by their beauty, I pleaded with Anna to stop, but she refused. We were on a tight schedule and the Khor Virap monastery was our next stop.
                  We stopped at the foot of a hillock on top of which sat the Khor Virap monastery (a collection of churches). The trek up looked daunting. But on Anna’s insistence, I huffed and puffed to the top. At the gates of the monastery, I realised why she had been so insistent. To our left were those twin peaks, closer than I’d seen them from the ground.
                  Inside the church, in the pits of which Armenia’s connection to Christianity began, we realised Khor Virap’s importance. Under the church is the dungeon where Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years for following a heretic faith, Christianity. Apart from the fact that the dungeon was swarming with snakes and scorpions, he wasn’t given a morsel of food. And yet he came out alive. It is believed that a woman, who loved and revered him, broke a small section of the wall with her bare hands and threw some food for him every day, keeping him alive. When he emerged out of the pit alive to cure the ailing king of Armenia, the king converted to his faith. He declared Armenia a Christian nation in 301 AD.

                  The legendary 13th century Noravank monastery
                  Today, people believe that if you go down the dungeon and make a wish, it comes true. So down we went, one by one, to make a wish. I made one too, for love, like that woman. Her wish came true; I’m still waiting.
                  Later, as we drove to a 13th century monastery in the Noravank region, Anna told us numerous tales of love – how a mountain peak was named after a princess who dared to love a commoner and paid for it with her life, local songs about women waiting for their long lost loves; and the great architect, painter and sculptor Momik.
                  Momik today is hailed by the Armenians for his fine carving of khachkars (Armenian cross stones) found at the Noravank monastery. But back then, he wasn’t so lucky. He fell in love with the king’s daughter and the king called for his head. While crafting khachkars on the second floor of a church, Momik was pushed to his death by the king’s men. His grave stands on the exact spot where he fell and the second floor still stands incomplete.

                  Later that night, we were invited for drinks at Cilicia, a replica of an ancient Armenian ship, nestling at Lake Sevan. The captain and his mates manually raised the mighty sails and welcomed us on board. As we drifted slowly on the deep blue waters, I realised that my wish had indeed come true. I was in love... with Armenia.
                  The Break-Up
                  The next day, in the snow-covered region of Tsaghkadzor, everything looked austere. Maybe because I knew that was my last day in the country.
                  We visited the only surviving pagan temple in Armenia, Garni. One look at the temple from the valley makes you realise how perfect the world was then. The stone structure stands in the sun all day, but once a day in the afternoon, the sun plays so beautifully upon the stone that the entire structure shines.

                  After a long lunch at a local villager’s house, we drove back to Yerevan. On the road, I couldn’t help noticing abandoned vintage mini buses along the way and people still travelling in beat-up classic Camaros. If you’re lucky, you might find a cell phone tower or two. The sense of isolation may have been unsettling for others, but I loved the feeling. The thing about Armenia is that outside Yerevan, it seems to be stuck in a time warp.

                  The bustling Republic Square
                  We had the last evening to ourselves. I made the most of it by walking through the streets, shopping for souvenirs, watching a jazz concert, tasting brandy (never again! It’s too bitter) and munching on local candied fruits.
                  Later that night when everyone retired to their rooms, I decided to step out, one last time. I walked past Republic Square, sat outside the Opera House, walked along the boulevard – there was silence around me. The air was still reeking of brandy, but the bar stools were empty. I knew my love affair was coming to an end. This was our last night together. Break- ups are hard, but this was always meant to be a very short love story.
                  (The writer’s trip was sponsored by Air Arabia.)

                  TRAVEL INFO There are no direct flights to Armenia. Air Arabia has daily flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Sharjah. There are flights to Yerevan four times a week from there.
                  Travelling within Yerevan is easy and cheap. Hop into a taxi or a Marshutka (minivans). Taxi fares starts at 101AMD which is `15.
                  A bottle of water is approximately 150AMD, which is `23. But a pint of beer is less than `80.
                  The best time to visit Armenia is end of September to early November. Summer is mostly harsh, with temperature crossing 40 degrees C. Winter is extremely cold and it occasionally snows in north Armenia.
                  - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/brunch....QC0QIo4u.dpuf
                  Azerbaboon: 9.000 Google hits and counting!

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                  • #29
                    Re: Armenia's Tourism is booming.

                    We are the people of Ararat.....
                    B0zkurt Hunter

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                    • #30
                      Re: Armenia's Tourism is booming.

                      Here are two articles from 2010 regarding the inflation of the tourism numbers due to using a more broad definition.
                      http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/2062487.html
                      http://www.armenianow.com/social/26168/armenia_tourism

                      I think it should be noted that Georgia also uses this type of loose definition of tourism in their numbers since 77% of their tourists are just Azeris, Armenians, and Turks on VERY short visits, likely just passing through
                      http://dtxtq4w60xqpw.cloudfront.net/....1_georgia.pdf

                      Having said that here's two interesting indicators provided by the two articles for analyzing exact tourism number since we lack actual specific breakdowns like the ones accessible to Georgians:

                      in 2009 out of 575,000 visitors only 137,000 (24%) entered with a VISA and only 65,000 (11.3%) stayed at a hotel. So using that approximation, based on the 925,000 2013 visitors according to the pro-govt armpress, somewhere between 100,000-225,000 (11-24%) were true tourists.

                      I think the biggest immediate market Armenia can tap into is the Iranian market
                      http://arka.am/en/news/tourism/over_...enia_in_2013_/
                      in 2013 100,000 Iranians visited Armenia according to govt statistics, down from 134,000 high of 2008.
                      <<եթե զենք էլ չլինի' ես քարերով կկրվեմ>>

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