NKR PM Spokesman: “It will be impossible to know the homeland without knowing Artsakh and the people of Artsakh”

The “Come to Artsakh” initiative, the author of which is Spokesman of the Prime Minister of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Artak Beglaryan, has already become widespread on the Internet. Participants must take a photo at any site in Artsakh or near a symbol and call on their friends to spend a part of their vacation in Artsakh. When posting the given photo or video on social networks, the participant must tag at least three friends who, in their turn, must join a flashmob in three days and visit Artsakh during their summer vacation. Hayern Aysor’s correspondent talked about the initiative with Spokesman of the NKR Prime Minister Artak Beglaryan.

Hayern Aysor: Why and when did you decide to organize the “Come to Artsakh” action?

Artak Beglaryan: The main reason was the decline in the number of tourists caused by the military actions that Azerbaijan unleashed in April. As a result of that, many economic entities were going to face certain issues in the service sector. So, with this action that was launched in mid-May, our first goal was to call on Armenians to spend at least a part of their vacation in Artsakh and help stabilize the economic sector in Artsakh.

In addition, the active flow of tourists would show people that it’s safe in Artsakh and that there are no security risks. Besides situational goals, the “Come to Artsakh” action also provides an opportunity to show the attractiveness of Artsakh, at least on social networks, as well as convince those in doubt to visit Artsakh. Moreover, this will especially encourage Armenians to know a part of their homeland. They care a lot about Artsakh, but most of them have never been to Artsakh.

Hayern Aysor: What is the scale of the initiative?

A. B.: For several days, Armenian Facebook users, as well as some Twitter and Instagram users would post a number of photos of Artsakh and call on their friends to visit Artsakh. Several Armenian celebrities joined the action with pleasure and shared photos with their large audiences on social networks. The action continues, and several users are updating photos from time to time. I think more celebrities will join us.

As far as activities are concerned, it is too early to talk about the results of the action. However, there is a positive trend, and many have clearly decided to visit Artsakh in the summer. Let’s wait for the hot season for tourism and then talk about the action and the results.

Hayern Aysor: What does Artsakh have to offer to Diaspora Armenians and foreign tourists?

A. B.: More and more tourists are visiting Artsakh year after year, meaning Artsakh is becoming more and more attractive for them. I believe the people of Artsakh can interest foreign tourists the most with their daily activities, traditions and cuisine. We still have a lot of work to do in order to present this advantage, as well as to improve the relevant infrastructures and the skills of people engaged in the sector.

The rich historical and cultural values and nature also interest foreigners. We constantly need to present the nature and values better. This will help raise the attractiveness of Artsakh.

Hayern Aysor: In your opinion, at which age should a person be and what preferences should he have to be attracted to Artsakh?

A. B.: I think Artsakh is so diverse that it can spark interest among people of all ages and with all preferences. The nature is wonderful for active and passive rest. There are historic and cultural monuments, people with interesting traditions and ecologically clean food. Of course, there is room for improvement in all sectors, but I think the lack of events for active rest is one of the major directions.

Hayern Aysor: At the end, what would you like to transmit or say to those who have never been in Artsakh?

A. B.: My main message is that they shouldn’t be afraid of visiting Artsakh since it’s much safer here than most countries in Europe. The safety of tourists is not at risk because of the conflict.

My second message is addressed to the Armenians. I call on them to come and know Artsakh and the people of Artsakh, without which it will be impossible to know the homeland in its entirety.

Interview by Lusine Abrahamyan

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