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YEREVAN, JULY 19, ARMENPRESS: Within the framework of Familiarizion trips to Armenia, five Japanese tour operators and one travel writer arrived in Armenia on July 16, 2005 to discover Armenia’s eclectic cultural treasures, ancient monasteries and natural wonders, and to become acquainted with Armenia’s hospitable people.

For the last four years the Armenian Tourism Development Agency (ATDA), in cooperation with the local tourism industry, has organized over 12 “familiarization trips” for foreign tour operators, travel agents and travel writers with the goal of increasing Armenia’s tourism awareness globally, and positioning Armenia as a new and attractive travel destination. Armenia was presented to the Japanese audience for the first time ever in 2002 and again in 2004 at the JATA (Japanese Association of Travel Agents) International Tourism Exhibition in order to increase the small number of Asian tourists visiting Armenia. As a positive outcome of the JATA exhibition, the ATDA in cooperation with the Armenian tourism industry, hosted the Japanese tourism professionals in Armenia.

Air travel was provided by “Aeroflot” Russian Airlines and ground excursions to the southern and northern regions of Armenia were provided by Saberatours Svan, Armentour travel agencies and the Armenian Tourism Development Agency. The Familiarization trip is sure to secure promising increase in the number of Asian tourists for the coming tourist season and promote Armenia as an unrevealed tourism destination.

The Armenian Tourism Development Agency (ATDA) has proactively encouraged the development of Armenian tourism, both locally and globally since 2001. Today, ATDA is chartered by the Government of the Republic of Armenia, with funding from Hovnanian International.

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