The results of the study show that in 2011 about 5.2 million people visited the South Caucasus countries on business and other purposes.
According to a senior expert in Ameria, Artashes Shaboyan, in 2002 Georgia accounted for 28.8% of the total number of tourists visiting the South Caucasus; in 2011 it accounted already for 54.9 %. In 2002 Azerbaijan accounted for 55.6%, in 2011 its share dropped to 30.4%. Armenia was third, 15.6% in 2002 and 14.7% in 2011.
According to Shaboyan, in 2011 Armenia rose one position in the international ranking of competitiveness of tourism markets to 90th position among 139 countries, compiled by the World Economic Forum. Georgia was on the 73rd position and Azerbaijan on the 83rd.
He said according to a government plan of actions to develop tourism sector adopted back in 2008, the number of foreign tourists is to grow by 9 percent a year to 1.5 million in 2020 and three million in 2030. He said also the government expects the sector to generate $1.35 billion in 2020 and $3 billion in 2030.
Earlier the ministry of economy predicted that the number of foreign tourists visiting Armenia this year would grow to 850,000. According to official data, in the first nine months of 2012 their number reached 603,074, by 9.4 percent more from a year before.
Ameria’s study was conducted on the basis of data, provided by Colliers International, HVS Global Hospitality Services, Richard Cancellor and others, as well as on the basis of the results of regional studies conducted by international organizations and the National Statistical Service of Armenia. Founded in 1998, Ameria is one of the leading consultancies in Armenia, offering professional administrative, financial and legal consulting.