Armenian Tourism Ranks 74th Worldwide

Commercials about Armenia running on CNN International – Armenia: Noah’s Route, Your Route (Part1)
Azg article about tourism in Armenia attracted a range of comments from the Armenian blogosphere. Oneworld Multimedia reports:

[…]Armenia ranks 74th place out of 124 countries in terms of popular world tourism destinations. Georgia and Russia are the only other CIS countries doing better with positions of 66th and 68th.

The competitiveness of countries in the tourism sphere is defined by three main parameters – corresponding legislation, business are and infrastructures and human, culture and natural resources. Armenia has considerable advantage in legislation (rated 65), natural, human and culture resources (rated 62) and disadvantage in business area and infrastructures (rated 96). Armenia is attractive in sense due to high sanitary and hygiene conditions, the security of tourists and the native people’s welcome for them, as well as suitable prices.
Armenia’s competitiveness mainly suffers from visa regime with the states whose citizens go touring most frequently, problems with nature protection, lack of local air and vehicle transportation infrastructures, etc.[…]

Armenia Blog is unimpressed with the result, saying “a good start would be to offer international-friendly tours to popular destinations.” Hyelog has also looked at the issue, publishing excerpts from the Mediamax news agency (via
Interestingly the discussion on the issue at Oneworld Multimedia is going around the high costs of visiting Armenia (chello), while Nazarian looks at the weakness of the USD against Armenia’s dram and high airfare.

Diaspora Economy Politics

Armenia, Genocide and the World

Vahe Balabanyan has posted a selection of news extracts from A1+, The California Courier, Armenialiberty, The Messenger , The Brock Press and the AP at Hyelog covering the construction of the railway Kars-Akhalqalaq, US attitudes towards the Armenian Genocide recognition, Turkey’s little problem of genocide, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s support for the amendment of Turkey’s controversial article 301, plans for opening the long-awaited second rail ferry link with the outside world that will substantially reduce the cost of its transport communication with Russia and possibly other countries,
Hyelog has the following to add to the article The Caucasus: where the east meets west and much, much more which discusses the complex geopolitics of the Caucasus and the role of Georgia in it:

[…]Irrespective how much Georgia wants to sugar coat it and how much Armenia wants to downplay because it relies on Georgia to access to the world, the reality speaks otherwise. I see this as Georgia caving in to Turkey and Azerbaijan to bring Armenia to its knees in order for it to make concessions on the Genocide recognition and Nagorno Karabakh.[…]

Economy Environment Politics

High TV Fees for Political Campaigning, David Harutyunyan, Oskanyan and Globalization, Envirnoment and Labour Exploitation

Armenia blog has a full range of topics today, including: High TV Advertisement Fees Angers Politicians, “An example that should be followed by others” – Russian-Armenian Businessmen Help Nagorno-Karabakh, Pollution in Yerevan, Labor Exploitation in Armenia.

In the post “David Haroutyunyan to Participate in Parliamentary ElectionsRhyne sounds apalled:
If he seems familiar, that’s because you’ve seen him before on Armenia’s Richest Men list. It really is a Who’s Who of corrupt businessmen and politicians.
As to the points made by the RA Foreign Minister on Armenia and Globalization, the position of Armenia Blog is clear:

“I’ve always maintained that Armenia needs to become part of the global village, so to speak.

Armenia should not yield to anti-globalization motions, since taking into account country’s size and abilities, it is quite out of sense, stated Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian…
In his words, the little Armenia and the large Armenian Diaspora must use the chances given by globalization. If official Yerevan sensibly uses these opportunities, globalization can become a discovery for Armenia. If the country does not use the chances given by globalization, it can become a state that nobody pays attention to. (Panarmenian.Net)

True enough.”


The Listing of 1000 Largest Taxpayers in Armenia

The Armenian Economist praises the State Tax Services agency for publishing the listing of the 1000 largest taxpayers in Armenia, along with the amount of taxes they had paid, breaks it down by type: including the custom duties, direct taxes (profit and personal income), and VAT among others.
The Economist also indicates the need for the State Tax Services to include important additional details in the listing, as well as points media and analysts as the ones responsible for analysing the content of the listing:

“…The media and analysts also have a responsibility for accurate and objective analysis of the reported information. Many are correct in highlighting the low taxes paid by some local businesses. Others, and despite of the best of intentions, have drawn some outlandish inferences from the tax figures reported over time…”


Emergence of a new oligarch in Yerevan

Armenia blog is looking at Eduardo Eurnekian’s recent acquisition of Conversebank and its consequences. With the words: “…we may be witnessing the emergence of a new oligarch in Yerevan. Let’s see if that prediction comes true…” Rhyne concludes his post.