Tourism is one of the branches of economy which is becoming more demanded and the tendency of increasing the types of tourism is observed. We tried to clarify as to what types and directions of its development can be realized in Artsakh in an interview with the administrator of Tourism Department of the Ministry of Economy of Artsakh Republic Inna Simonyan.
Tourism, as a direction in the development of economy, is given much importance and much resources are invested in its development. What kinds of tourism are there in general?
Generally the term “a type of tourism” has wide range of meaning and it is a very changeable term taking into account the fact that everything depends on preferences and the tourism resources of a certain direction. There are many forms and subtypes of tourism and sometimes it is difficult to differentiate this or that type of it. For example, rural tourism and agrotourism are often identified inspite of the differences between them. In my opinion, types of tourism need to have profound and comprehensive analysis.
If we talk about the global trends, there are so-called traditional types of tourism, for example recreational tourism, cultural or natural tourism, agro tourism, adventure tourism, etc. I would like to single out military-historical tourism as a non-traditional form, for which, inspite of negative implication, there is potential of development. In addition to this, visits to the scenes of actions of world famous books and films can be considered a seperate type of tourism, for example Tolkien tourism is a phenomenon of fans of The Lord of the Rings fiction, which is common in New Zealand and is encouraged by the representatives of tourism of the country.
Which of the mentioned directions is being realized in Artsakh and what resources do we have?
From this point of view, Artsakh is a sufficiently diversified tourism product for potential tourists. If we speak about the traditional branches, it is necessary to mention that tourism in our country mainly has cognitive character in terms of cultural and natural direction. It is natural that in a country with more than 4500 historical-cultural monuments and rich natural resources these branches of tourism dominate. However, as I have already mentioned, the types of tourism are quite different in Artsakh which need further development on the initiative of both the state and private sector. The thing is mainly about ecotourism and adventure tourism. And in case of the latter conditions are created by the nature with little human interference, human involvement in the first case should prevail without disrupting the natural course of development of the host country or community.
The next type of tourism in Artsakh is ethnographic tourism, which depends primarily on the lifestyle, traditions and culture of the mentioned community. Very often it is said that tourist potential of Artsakh is in local residents who, living in the 21st century, try to maintain their old lifestyle and traditions, hospitality and culture to communicate directly. Special attention is paid to the military-historical tourism. Unfortunately, there are great resources for the development of this sector in Artsakh. I mean, of course, not only the Azerbaijani-Karabakh conflict,the traces of which are still obvious, but also the historical wars and clashes, which occurred at the beginning of the last century.