December 10, 2013 - 17:19 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenia climbed 11 points to be ranked 79th in the 2013 World Economic Forum (WEF) Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report.
However, despite significant progress in tourism sector, Armenia lags behind CIS countries in many factors, including air transportation and hotel accommodation.
As the National Competitiveness Foundation CEO Arman Khachatryan told a December 10 news conference, Armenia's adoption of an open sky policy will boost passenger transportation by 20-25%, also reducing airline ticket prices by 10-50%.
The CEO also noted a price reduction in a number of directions, with Yerevan-Dubai flights operating 11 times a week instead of 3-4 times previously. As a result, average ticket price dropped by 40% - from AMD 200 thous. ($491) to AMD 120 thous. ($295). A certain price decrease was also posted for Yerevan-Moscow flights – currently AMD 160 thousand ($393) against AMD 200 thous. previously.
As he noted in conclusion, airline ticket prices in Armenia are by 60% higher than in neighboring countries, the situation being caused by limited geography of flights and lack of market competition.
Armenia posted tourist inflow of 677906 people in January-September 2013, up 12,4% from 2012 results. According to the head of tourism department at Economy Ministry Mekhak Apresyan, the majority of tourists are arriving from Russia, Georgia, Iran, U.S. and Europe.