YEREVAN, Jan. 26 (Xinhua) -- Armenia has both the resources and potential to expand ecotourism, Aram Aghasyan, head of the Department of Specially Protected Areas of the Armenian Ministry of Nature Protection, told Armenpress here Thursday.
More coordinated work from the public and private sectors is needed to aid the growth of this unique form of tourism, Aghasyan said.
"We have a lot of wealth in our country gifted to us by nature like the Khosrov Forest, the Shikahogh State Reserve, Sevan National Park, etc.," he said. In these areas guesthouses have been built with the support of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in the hopes of attracting more tourists.
Aghasyan said Armenia will set up an information center on ecotourism at the State Museum of Nature of Armenia to further promote ecotourism.
Though ecotourism is a relatively new idea in Armenia, it is becoming more popular due to the country's vast biodiversity and rich natural monuments. One interesting fact Armenian environmentalists like to boast about is that the tiny South Caucasus country has a recorded 359 bird species, while the total number in Europe is about 700.