Tourism Discussed as British Week Continues

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–British travel companies positively assessed results of negotiations with their Armenian counterparts on beginning British tour groups to Armenia–a representative of the British Department for Tourism Helen Lloyd said at a January 20 press conference held during British Week in Armenia. Among those in negotiations with British companies are "Panita Travel,"Anglo-Continental" and 14 Armenian travel companies–among which "Sputnik,"Ajax,"Evrostan Uyut" were named as most promising for cooperation.

A group of Armenian tourists will visit Britain this March under a contract signed between "Panita Travel" and "Sputnik" companies. It was also decided that tourists traveling to Armenia–for instance from the US–should visit Britain as well.

Special attention was paid to the promotion of tourism in Armenia. According to participants of the meeting–this matter requires caution–as it is related with certain financial considerations. According to "Panita Travel" Director Anita Bannister–under British legislation–a company sending tourists must pay a deposit of 180,000 pounds to cover fines if a tourist sues the company for bad services in a host country. British representatives believe that to raise the level of service in Armenia’so that it is internationally-recognized–huge capital investment is needed. To this end–Lloyd said that the problems related to bringing tourists in Armenia would be discussed during a visit of the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ara Petrossian to Great Britain this May.

"Involving women in politics is crucially important in developing democracy. I strongly believe that Armenian women will make their own contribution to the matter of resolution of numerous problems," Deputy Speaker of the British Parliament’s House of Lords–Baroness Caroline Cox said during the opening of a seminar on women’s issues–on January 20. The seminar was jointly organized by the British Embassy in Armenia and the National Democratic Union as part of British Week in Armenia.

The seminar mainly focused on the implementation of resolutions adopted at the 4th United Nations Women’s Conference in Beijing in 1995. Representatives of different women’s public organizations of Armenia–as well as their British counterparts and female members of the British Parliament discussed issues related to women’s rights–women and armed conflicts–violence against women and problems of minors.

It was highlighted that violence committed against women was one of the obstacles in reaching equality in society–and that violence could be both the cause and effect of women’s low social and economic status. The need for measures to prevent and eliminate violent incidents was highlighted.

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