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Changes in Armenia over the Past 20 Years

2011-10-27

Armenia is my next travel destination - if you would say it some 20 years ago, you would be greeted with peoples’ blank expressions. Nowadays it’s no longer so. People from all over the world are coming to Armenia. The Caucasus and especially Armenia has become a popular travel destination among the tourists. Armenia attracts tourists for its long history, ancient historical monuments and also hospitality. The cultural and historical heritage of the country is truly rich and overwhelming. 

Over the past 20 years Armenia has seen a significant rise in the tourism industry and the main reason of this tourist flow to Armenia is the huge changes that have been taking place in Armenia over the last 20 years. 

So, let’s see what has changed in Armenia over the past 20 years and what makes more and more tourists choose Armenia as their next travel destination each year. 

Changes in tourism industry: A few years ago the main tourism sector of Armenia was Armenian Diaspora. But now, I am very happy to note, that the number of tourists coming from different corners of the world has increased dramatically. It is estimated that every year the tourist visits to Armenia are increasing by 20-30%.  I am just happy to see many non-Armenian tourists outside. Visitors seem to just fall in love with Armenia  - our culture, the heritage that we have and our long history attract them and they all leave our country with  the hope to one day come back. They love the freedom in our country and are sometimes surprised to see the safety in our cities. There are a few countries like Armenia where you can go out late at night and feel yourself safe. There are a few countries like Armenia you can come across a medieval monument and see there are no people to guard it… this freedom is indeed attractive and unusual for most of us… 

New Tourist Destinations: Tatev Ropeway, being the longest one in the world, opened in Armenia about a year before. The ropeway is called “Wings of Tatev”. The ropeway leads to Tatev Monasyery in Syunik Province of Armenia. It will take you 12 minutes to get to Monastery.  It’s a Unesco World Heritage Site and will be included in the Guinness Book of Records. In only one year the ropeway has served 70000 visitors. 

Armenian Football: Another important change in our country is the great change in Armenian National Football team. It was only a dream for us to participate in Euro 2012 and our team made our dream come true. Armenia has made a huge move forward and Armenian fans have never before been so excited and happy to see their team playing. The recent matches with Ireland, Macedonia have come to prove it. The whole nation is still amazed and has difficulty in believing that our team can play so well. It’s a precious gift to the whole nation and Armenian fans.

Clothing: Armenian young generation has changed a lot. You will no longer see Armenian boys all in black. Now, Armenian guys no longer crop their hair to 1cm or wear the pointy black shoes. Girls are always dressed up and nice. 

Yerevan Streets: About 20 years before, if you got off the Airport you would be pressured by the darkness of our country. The streets had no lighting and there were no people outside. Now, I am happy to state, that it’s no longer so. Yerevan has a very active nightlife and the streets are light and always crowded. The road infrastructure has been improved as well.

Political Stability: The situation in the region has significantly improved, so now the wider tourist community should know there is nothing to fear and it is certainly worth visiting travelling to Caucasus. The era of political unrest in the Caucasus is now over and the Caucasian Countries are now in peace.

Economic Conditions: Economic conditions of Armenia have greatly improved during the last 20 years. Running cold and hot water is no longer a luxury for most of Armenians. We have electricity and our homes are warm in cold winters.

People: I can see lots of positive changes in our people. I am just happy as every day I can see more and more people holding doors open for each other, greeting you with smile (you could hardly see people with smile on their face before). Another good change is that you will no longer see the once obvious difference between genders. Now women and men have equal access to economic sector. Still, 20 years ago a business Armenian lady was a rare thing. Nowadays more and more women are working and there is no specified area of women’s work. They work in all spheres.  But there are things that even after 20 years have remained the same: We still have distinctive black eyebrows and hair, proud and huge noises. We Armenians are still proud of the famous people with Armenian blood and are assured that all important people have Armenian blood. We still think that Armenians have invented everything and are still very very sensitive to a Mountain Ararat and we are still very hospitable and convinced that Armenian barbecue is the best in the world.

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