“Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” Essay Contest #2

Award Ceremony

By: Lala Mamigonian

In November 2010, students from sixteen high schools in the Greater Los Angeles area were invited to participate in the second essay contest organized by the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” project. The topic of the essay was again “Why I want to visit Armenia”.

This essay contest was intended not only to get young Armenians, living in the Diaspora, to show interest in visiting Armenia, but also allowing them an opportunity to learn, understand, recognize, acknowledge and awaken their identity and direct connection to their motherland, Armenia. The essays could be written in English or Armenian, permitting the participants to freely express their thoughts, feelings and reasons why a visit to Armenia is important. Specifics of the rules and regulations of the essay contest were provided to all participants. The effort to appeal to our younger generation is significant in arousing and encouraging awareness of the importance of visiting Armenia, thus strengthening the urge to visit, transforming this urge to a goal, recognizing and accomplishing the goal, and ultimately creating a lifelong relationship with their motherland, Armenia.

About seventy guests attended the award ceremony, which was open to the public. It took place at 7:00 p.m., on Thursday, April 28, 2011, at the “Raffi” Cultural Association in Hollywood. Present were members of the local media, school principals and teachers, parents, students and supporters of VAIIB.

Mr. Mampre Pomakian Esq., Emcee of the evening, praised the determination and efforts of the “Visit Armenia It Is Beautiful” project for the past twelve years. He spoke about its’ mission, which is to spread the word that Armenia is a beautiful country welcoming everyone to visit. He praised the slogan /logo and website, and the various annual events it organizes, stimulating the perception and need in the Diaspora for all Armenians to take an active role, in a unified campaign, promoting tourism to Armenia.

Mr. Pomakian revealed, for the first time, the identity of the five Judges to the contestant’s and the guests:

Mr. Kevork Bedikian – Educator, Principal, Author of several books, reporter and Journalist;

Mrs. Annie Kertenian – Business owner, well travelled including to Armenia, experienced in proof reading movie scripts and documentaries;

Mr. Saro Nazarian – Educator and Journalist with experience in International Journalism;


Mrs. Eileen Keusseyan Esq., - Attorney at Law, President of PTO’s and Church organizations, as well as very active in several charitable organizations;

Mr. Zaven Khanjian – Community leader with heavy travel experience, including Armenia and Western Armenia, and author of several articles and books;

Alternate Judges: Ms. Tamar Baronian - Graduate of UCLA, and UWLA School of Law and well travelled including Armenia.

Ms. Lisa Boyadjian - Legal assistant, Armenian Bar Association Administrative Assistant, Administrator and Assistant Editor of the VisitArmenia.org website, with heavy travel experience, including Armenia.

Ara Boyadjian, founder of the “VISIT ARMENIA, IT IS BEAUTIFUL” (“VAIIB”) campaign project, thanked the media and press for covering the VAIIB events and utilizing the campaign’s slogan and logo, and the sponsors of the award ceremony which included

Mr. and Mrs. Yeprem and Varsenig Baghboudarian, Mr. and Mrs. Nazareth and Alice Chakrian, Mr. Ara Kassabian, CPA., Dr. and Mrs. Garo and Galia Kassabian,Mr. and Mrs. Tony and Eileen Keusseyan, Mr. and Mrs. Viken and Vartouhi Tavoukjian,

Shahe and Sahag Melelian of Arka Photography in Hollywood

for their contributions, the “Raffi" Cultural Association for hosting the evening’s event,

Armen Hovannisian Esq., Stepan Partamian/Armenian Art Fund , Kevork Bedikian, Zaven Khanjian, Nahabed Melkonian, Nechan Tchaghatzbanian, Seta Velasquez and Yerevan Magazine for donating books and CD’s as gifts.

Mr. Boyadjian provided statistical information regarding the essay contest; 65 students registered collectively from 11 high schools, public and private Armenian.

43 registrants entered their essays into the contest, of which 23 wrote in English and 20 were written in the Armenian language. There were 20 contestants from AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School in Pasadena, 8 from Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School in Hollywood, 6 from Ferrahian High School in Encino, 3 from AGBU- MDS in Canoga Park, 2 from Clark Magnet High in La Crescenta, and one contestant each from Burbank High School, Glendale High School, John Burroughs High school in Burbank and Ulysses Grant High School.

Mr. Boyadjian then invited Mrs. Eileen Keusseyan to the podium who read a message from Mrs. Lena Melkonian, Board member and editor of VisitArmenia.org , whose moving and inspirational words congratulated every participating student and encouraged everyone to visit Armenia.

Next Savannah Minassian, 10 years old, grand-daughter of Mr. Boyadjian, read a heart warming message, which she had authored herself, thanking everyone for attending, and continued to say, “even though 3 essays are winning the top prizes tonight all of the participants are winners to me. I hope next time there are more participants from schools all over Southern California.” She continued “ I am in the fourth grade and I have been to Armenia, twice and hearing why other people want to go to Armenia makes me want to go back to Armenia and stay there. I think anyone who wants to go to Armenia should have at least one chance to go:” she concluded her thoughts with the slogan “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful”. One could see tears in some of the audience’s eyes, hearing this little girl’s heartfelt speech…

All five judges were present at the award ceremony and each expressed congratulatory remarks to the VAIIB project for this remarkable and important event. The judges were impressed by the essays and conveyed their opinions and praises on what the contestants had communicated in their essays.

Following the Judges’ comments, the winners were announced. The top three winners received monetary awards, books, CD’s, one year subscriptions to various Armenian publications, donated by USA Armenian Weekly, Asbarez, and Yerevan Magazine.

The First Place winner was Tigran Tufenkchyan of John Burroughs High School in Burbank, whose essay was written in English.

The Second Place winner was Talar Habeshian of AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School. Her essay written in Armenian,

Third Place went to Shant Artenian of Rose and Alex Pilibos High School, written in English.

Eight Honorary Mention certificates and gifts were awarded to

Katrina Karaboghosian from AGBU MDS High School,

Delilah Shahbazian from AGBU MDS High School,

Ari Kazanjian AGBU V.T.Manoukian High School,

Kathrine Tabakian from AGBU V.T.Manoukian High School,

Sevan Hovannisian from Ferrahian High School,

Kristine Azadian, from Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School

Khajag Bornazyan, from Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School

Vivian Kasparian, from Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School

The evening concluded with Mr. Mampre Pomakian inviting everyone to share a cake which was presented to Ara Boyadjian in congratulating his fiftieth anniversary in the travel and tourism industry and thanking him again for sharing his knowledge and expertise in helping tourism grow in Armenia.

The essay contest participants are the future travelers and Ambassadors of Good Will of Armenia and will help facilitate the success of the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” campaign project in its mission and commitment to promote tourism to Armenia, thus stimulating and boosting the country’s economy.

Mr. Boyadjian, commented at the end of the evening that “The essays will soon be available on the “VisitArmenia.org” website. And as always, with his consent, the “VISIT ARMENIA, IT IS BEAUTIFUL” slogan/logo is available and encouraged for use by all Armenians, organizations, schools, churches, media and publications.


Strengthening the desire to visit Armenia


John Burroughs High School celebrated the achievements of its 2011 Senior Class on May 18, 2011, at 7:00 PM in the school’s gymnasium in Burbank, California.

Emilio Urioste Jr., Principal JBHS Administration, headed the ceremony, following the Pledge of Allegiance by Taylor Van Den Berg, the Senior Class President. Over one thousand students, family, faculty, educators, city officials, and guests were in attendance, including Ted Bunch, President and Debbie Kukta, Vice President, of the Burbank Board of Education, as well as Dr. Stan Carrizosa, Superintendent.

Scholarships and awards from a variety of donors for scholastic, civic, sports and art excellence were presented including the Burbank Police Officers Association Matthew Pavelka Memorial Scholarship, Burbank Teachers Association, California State PTA Scholarship, UCLA Alumni Scholarship, USC Alumni Scholarship and USC Trustee Scholarship, the “Visit Armenia, It is Beautiful” award and others. Special Honors for CSF Sealbearers, President’s Award and 100 Service Learning Hours awards were also presented.

Ara Boyadjian, Tigran Tufenkchyan, Emilio Urioste Jr. Principal JBHS

The "Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful" scholarship and award presented by Ara Boyadjian recognized Tigran Tufenkchyan, a senior at Burroughs, as the First Place winner of its 2011 essay contest entitled “Why I want to visit Armenia”. Essays could be written in Armenian or English, with specific guidelines to be followed. Tufenchyan, born in America, will be visiting Armenia for the first time this summer, and intends to volunteer with ACYO (Armenian Christian Youth Organization) to build a home for a widowed villager and her child and repair the community center at the village Bert in Davoush province.

There was participation by eleven high school students of public high schools and Armenian private schools in the Los Angeles area. For a second time, an Armenian student from a local public school was among the top winners. This year’s second and third place winners were Talar Habeshian of AGBU, Hratch and Tamar Manoukian High school in Pasadena, and Shant Artenian of Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School of Hollywood.

"Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful" is a non-commercial, non-profit project, with an aim to promote tourism to Armenia through its slogan/logo, website and other events in an effort to help Armenia’s economy by encouraging tourism. The project showcases Armenia as a touristic country, for Armenians and non-Armenians.

The essay contest encourages young Armenians to go beyond what they have learned in school, in organizations, or at home by giving an opportunity to conduct their own research and be able to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings to build upon their identity, create a greater bond with Armenia and a desire to visit. For those who have come from Armenia or have already visited, the contest provides a forum to relay their experiences, communicate their intentions to return and explain why.

Building upon and strengthening, not only the desire, but the need to visit Armenia is the first stepping stone that the essay contest provides. For more details, and to view several of the essays entered this year, visit www.visitarmenia.org



Armenia and Karabakh at the Los Angeles Times Travel Show


March 19-20, 2011

The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Karabakh (Artsakh) participated at the prestigious Los Angeles Travel and Adventure Show, for the second consecutive year. Both countries made their first appearance at the largest travel show in the United tates in 2010, and left a lasting impression on thousands of visitors, professional tour operators and travel agents.

The joint Armenia-Artsakh booth featured major Armenian travel companies giving the visitors travel information, guide books, films, video clips, as well as national culinary delights.

The “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” logo was prominently displayed on a huge poster, colorful flyers, post cards and bumper stickers were distributed to visitors.

Armenuhi Harutyunyan and Ara Boyadjian

Dancers from the Vartan and Siranoush Gevorkian International Dance Academy in Burbank performed dances to ethnic songs both days of the travel show.

Representatives of Levon Travel and Sidon Travel, who both offer tours to Armenia, were present at the Armenia booth both days explaining to visitors the logistics of traveling to Armenia. Several tour operators from Armenia and Artsakh also traveled to Los Angeles to be a part in this travel show.

The illustrious and eminent travel show, with over 400 exhibitors, is one of the largest travel shows in the West Coast. Travel agents, tour operators, airlines, cruise lines, tourist offices, sister city associations and tour related companies meet travel suppliers from all around the world, to exchange knowledge and information about availability of accommodations, tours, transportation and all other travel services.

The joint participation of Armenia and Artsakh to the Travel and Adventure Show is co-sponsored by the Consulate General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles and the Armenian American Chamber of Commerce in coordination with the Armenian Development Agency and the two Sister cities of Los Angeles and Yerevan.

Contact: Consulate General of The Republic Of Armenia in Los Angeles. 1000 N. Central Ave., #200, Glendale, CA 91202 Telephone: (818) 265-5900 facsimile: (818) 265-3800



“Why I want to visit Armenia”

By: Lala Mamigonian

In January 2009, all high school students, attending Armenian and public schools, in the Greater Los Angeles area were invited to participate in an essay contest organized by the “VISIT ARMENIA, IT IS BEAUTIFUL” campaign project. The topic of the essay was “Why I want to visit Armenia”.

This was yet another inspirational aim, by the VAIIB project, intended not only to get young Armenians, living in the Diaspora, to show interest in visiting Armenia, but also by allowing them an opportunity to learn, understand, recognize and acknowledge their identities and direct connection to their motherland Armenia. The essays could be written in English or Armenian permitting the participants to freely express their thoughts, feelings and reasons why a visit to Armenia is important. This effort to appeal to the younger generation is significant in awakening and encouraging awareness of the importance of visiting Armenia, thus strengthening the urge to visit, transforming the urge to a goal, realizing that goal, and ultimately creating a lifelong relationship with Armenia.

With over one hundred guests attending, the award ceremony, which was open to the public, took place at 7:00 PM on Thursday, April 30, 2009, at the “Raffi Cultural Association” in Hollywood. The event was reported by and aired on Horizon News and ARTN.

Mr. Boghos Arakelyan, MC of the evening, praised the determination and efforts of the “VISIT ARMENIA, IT IS BEAUTIFUL” project committed to spreading the word that Armenia is a beautiful country welcoming everyone to visit through its slogan/logo/website and various annual events it organizes locally, stimulating the perception and need in the Diaspora for all Armenians to take an active role in a unified campaign promoting tourism to Armenia.

Nanar Deirdeirian, Gegham Mughnetsyan, Ara Boyadjian, Talar Kossakian

Mr. Arakelyan revealed for the first time, the identity of the contest’s five Judges:

Mr. Mashdotz Chobanian, Director of the North America Western Diocese Christian Education department;

Mr. Saro Nazarian, Educator and Journalist, with experience in International Journalism;

Ms. Nairi Nahabedian, Educator and elected official to the City of Glendale’s Board of Education;

Mr. Zaven Khanjian, community leader and author of several articles and books,

Ms. Lena Boyadjian Melkonian, editor of the ‘Visit Armenia.Org’ website with vast travel experience, particularly to Armenia.

Alternet Judge: Ms. Tamar Baronian, Graduate of UCLA, Law student and well travelled.

Ara Boyadjian, founder of the “VISIT ARMENIA, IT IS BEAUTIFUL” (“VAIIB”) campaign project, thanked Honorable Grigor Hovhannissian, Consul General of the Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles, and the Consul General’s office for their ongoing support over the past several years, the media and press for covering the VAIIB events and utilizing the campaign’s slogan and logo, the sponsors of the award ceremony which included Mr. and Mrs. Nazareth and Alice Chakrian, Dr. and Mrs. Garo and Galia Kassabian, Mr. and Mrs. Harout and Vicky Masashlian, Mr. Sahag Melelian of Arka Photography, and the Compatriot Union of Hadjin for their contributions, the “Raffi Cultural Association for hosting the evening’s event, and Zaven Khanjian, Nerses Atamian, and Nechan Tchaghatzbanian for donating books and CD’s as gifts.

Mr. Boyadjian also provided statistical information regarding the essay contest, which were that 97 students registered collectively from 11 public schools and private Armenian schools. 46 registrants entered their essays into the contest, of which 32 wrote in English and 14 essays were written in the Armenian language. 33 contestants were female and 13 were male. There were 14 contestants from Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, 8 from Ferrahian High School, 7 from AGBU-Pasadena, 6 from AGBU-MDS, 6 from Sahag Mesrob Armenian Christian School, and one contestant each from Burbank High School, Glendale High School, Arshag Dikranian High School, Providence High School, and Ulysses Grant High School.

Three of the five judges were present at the award ceremony and each expressed congratulatory remarks to the VAIIB campaign project for this remarkable and important event. The judges were impressed by the essays and conveyed their opinions on what the contestants had learned and communicated in their essays.

Lena Boyadjian Melkonian (Judge) summed up the common themes and messages shared by the contestants. Specifically that going to Armenia was important to them because it is their ancestral land and will help them to better understand their identities. Also, that learning about Armenia from books, teachers or parents can not satisfy the yearning they have to breathe the air, drink the water, walk on Armenian soil, feel the cool waters of mystical Lake Sevan on their skin, capture the surreal beauty of Armenia with their own eyes, light a candle and pray in Holy Echmiadzin, pay tribute to Mesrob Mashdotz in Oshagan, speak their native tongue without hesitation, and bind with their brothers and sisters on their homeland. The contestants all described Armenia as their home. Those who had already had the opportunity of visiting Armenia found that one visit was all it took for Armenia to enter their minds, hearts and souls, and that Armenia had a magical and unique way of drawing her children back into her cradle.

Saro Nazarian (Judge) declared the evening as a celebration for all the contestants. He concluded that a sense of longing and belonging for Armenia was emphasized in almost each and every essay. Mr. Nazarian commended the essay contest and expressed his hope that it will become a tradition whereby future contests will have more participants with a greater number of entered essays in the Armenian language.

Zaven Khanjian (Judge) was deeply touched by the words, thoughts, ideas and feelings offered in the essays. He commented on how several of the essays not only expressed a desire to visit the Republic of Armenia, but the lands of Western Armenia as well. Mr. Khanjian congratulated the VAIIB campaign project and opined that this essay contest was very important as it encouraged patriotism in our future generation. He indicated that as a judge of this contest he realized that three (3) journeys had taken place. One was a journey taken by the Judges whereby reading the essays allowed them to visit the thoughts and feelings of the Armenian youth; a second journey was one taken by the contestants who had the opportunity to reflect on their inner thoughts and feelings about being Armenian and their homeland of Armenia, and why each stone, church, and site they would like to visit in Armenia was so important to them. Finally, the third journey was one where the contestants had the opportunity to express themselves freely and develop their writing skills. Mr. Khanjian was saddened when he finished reading the last essay and wished there were more because he was intrigued and fascinated by the context and emotions of what was expressed in the essays.

Following the Judges’ comments, the winners were announced. Vice Consul Sahag Sargsyan, of the Los Angeles office of the Consul General of the Republic of Armenia, presented the three (3) top winners with Letters of Commendation issued by the Consul General. The three winners also received monetary awards, books, CD’s, one year subscriptions to various Armenian publications, donated by Asbarez, Armenian Observer, California Courier, Hye Gyank, Masis, Nor Hayastan, Nor Gyank and Nor Or, as well as other gifts.

The First Place winner was Nanar Deirdeirian of Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School, whose essay was written in Armenian. The Second Place winner was Talar Kossakian of Ferrahian High School for her essay written in English and Third Place went to Gegham Mughnetsyan of Glendale High School,also written in Armenian.

Eight Honorary Mention certificates and gifts were awarded to Nairi Khachatoorian and Nar Gulvartian from AGBU MDS High School, Alexandra Moradians and Maral Aghvinian from Ferrahian High School, Garen Arabian, Diana Boyrazian and Hasmik Simidyan from Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School and Maral Kahvedjian from Sahag Mesrob Armenian Christian School.

Ara Boyadjian was also issued a Congratulatory letter from Consul General Grigor Hovhannissian commending him for the outstanding work the VAIIB project carries out to promote patriotism and tourism to Armenia.

The evening concluded with Boghos Arakelyan, who was so inspired and touched by the three essays that were read by their authors during the evening, he extended an invitation to the First, Second and Third winners of the contest on his show which broadcasts on ARTN. The winners will read and discuss their essays in order that the local Armenian community has the opportunity to witness the vigor of the future generation of Armenians in not only promoting tourism to Armenia but by sharing their love and devotion to Armenia and emphasizing the importance of why visiting Armenia is so important.

The essay contest’s participants are the future travelers and Ambassadors of Good Will of Armenia and will help facilitate the success of the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” campaign project in its mission and commitment to promote tourism to Armenia thus stimulating and boosting the country’s economy.

Saro, Zaven, Ara, Nanar, Lena, Gegham, Boghos, Talar

The essays will be available on the “VisitArmenia.org” website, and are anticipated to be published in various Armenian newspapers. With the consent of Ara Boyadjian, the “VISIT ARMENIA, IT IS BEAUTIFUL” slogan/logo is available and encouraged for use by all Armenians, organizations, media and publication.



"Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful"

meeting with

Consul General of the R.A. in L.A.

Hon.Grigor Hovhannissian

On March 16, 2009 Ara Boyadjian along with Lena Boyadjian Melkonian visited the Consulate of the Republic Of Armenia in Los Angeles to welcome and congratulate the newly appointed Consul General of the R.A. Honorable Grigor Hovhannissian. Present to the meeting was Vice Consul Mr. Sahag Sargsyan.

The Consul General was very familiar with the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” project and agreed that this simple yet powerful slogan/logo which is gaining international recognition is an excellent tool to introduce and promote tourism to Armenia.

Lena Boyadjian Melkonian, Hon.Grigor Hovhannissian, Ara Boyadjian

Ara informed the Consul General details of work being done and the full cooperation and unconditional support of some of the Armenian Media in our community, such as Horizon Armenian TV which broadcasts a 30 seconds infomercial several times a day, as well as Armenian Life weekly and Nor Hayastan daily which print the logo almost in every issue. He emphasized the need of every Armenian publication and TV station to print or broadcast this logo/slogan as a public service announcement to encourage the Armenian community to plan travel to Armenia, and through them show their neighbors, coworkers and associates that Armenia is a beautiful tourist destination full of historic sights as well as nature, flora, fauna, sports, wine tasting, food, entertainment and all other modern activities that tourists expect from a destination.

Several other issues were discussed among which, Ara informed The Consul General about an essay contest organized by “Visit Armenia, It Is beautiful” and asked the Consul General if he could issue letters of recognition to the first three winners of this contest. The subject of this essay is, “Why I like to visit Armenia”. It is open to high School students in Southern California and it could be written in Armenian or English. As of now eighty five students from eleven local high schools have applied to participate. The winners will be announced on April 30, 2009 and they will be awarded monetary, gifts, recognition letter of the Consul General as well as a full year’s subscription to an Armenian news paper.

The meeting concluded with Mr. Boyadjian’s gratitude to the Consul General for the opportunity to discuss this project and for the Consul’s vision and support to the VAIIB concept and for the ongoing synergy between the Armenian Consulate and VAIIB.


The Jakarta Post’s Recognition of

“Visit Armenia, It is Beautiful”

The Jakarta Post acknowledges the “Visit Armenia, It is Beautiful” slogan as one that is “creative”, catchy” and “encompassing” the country it describes – Armenia.

In a December 31, 2008, article Endy M. Bayuni of The Jakarta Post (Indonesia) asks “Got any slogans for Visit Indonesia Year 2009?” “The Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” slogan is among a few other countries listed by the newspaper as having a country slogan to be reckoned with. These include:

“Malaysia, Truly Asia “ – “ Amazing Thailand “ - “ Wow Philippines” - “ Dynamic Korea” - “ Incredible India” - ”Vietnam, the Hidden Charm” and last but not least “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful”

Not only should we be proud that another nation has recognized the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” slogan, but all Armenians should feel encouraged and duty- bound to work toward incorporating this slogan as the official slogan for The Republic of Armenia, and nationalizing it into every written announcement, advertisement, media output, and other access where this slogan can appropriately be displayed to do its job: Inviting People to the Beautiful Country of Armenia.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008 3:06 AM

Be a member & get the benefits! Register or login Got any slogans for Visit Indonesia Year 2009? Endy M. Bayuni, , Jakarta | Sat, 12/27/2008 10:55 AM | Headlines For a nation that seems to have lived on slogans almost all its 63 years of history, we Indonesians really suck when it comes to inventing one to promote ourselves abroad. After a somewhat successful Visit Indonesia Year 2008 -- at least that is what tourism officials claim -- the government has extended the program and declared 2009 another Visit Indonesia Year. This time, however, the government has yet to come up with a slogan, or has yet to publicly announce one. Just as well, perhaps. This year, we came up with the worst slogan one could ever imagine for our tourism campaign: "Celebrating 100 Years of National Awakening." It is doubtful if the increase in tourist arrivals in 2008 was due to this slogan. Most visitors would likely have been perplexed by it. Many Indonesians, for that matter, had no clear idea what it was exactly we were celebrating this year (yes, we suck at history too). The slogan is painted on the tails of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia's planes, as well as at various tourist attractions. But most airline passengers would not care so much about the national awakening celebration as about the pilot being awake and getting them to their destinations safe and sound. "Celebrating" is a slogan even a marketing novice would refrain from using because not only is it too long, and therefore not catchy, but it is also incomprehensible. This is even after the government saved itself from a very embarrassing situation when the Financial Times reported before the launch of VIY 2008 that the original slogan, "Celebrating 100 Years of Nation's Awakening", was grammatically incorrect. Why couldn't we have come up with or settled for something simple, catchy and that really encompasses Indonesia? Surely this is not for lack of creativity on the part of the nation's 240 million people. Other countries by contrast seem to be much more creative.

Here are some examples: * Malaysia, Truly Asia * Amazing Thailand * Wow Philippines * Dynamic Korea * Incredible India * Vietnam, the Hidden Charm * Armenia, It Is Beautiful

Some local private-run TV stations are much more creative in inventing slogans. RCTI Okay must have been so successful that the station has continued to use this slogan for many years now. SCTV Ngetop is another successful one. The Election Channel launched by Metro TV was a statement claiming it to be the main TV network of reference when it came to the 2009 elections. That works too. Indonesia has a dynamic and creative advertising industry that would surely be able to come up with a much better slogan than "Celebrating". One idea is to organize a national or even international competition for members of the public to come up with proposals for a tourism campaign slogan. We could pick the top five winners and use a different slogan each year for the next five years. A slogan for a tourism campaign is not something that should be entrusted entirely to the government, considering it has only been 10 years since we moved from an authoritarian regime when churning out slogans was part of the ruling tool. In those days, slogans were designed more to "educate" people. They did not have to sell as much as to indoctrinate people. Let us help those in charge of writing up the slogan for Visit Indonesia Year 2009. Here are some suggestions: * Indonesia High and Dry -- reflecting on the shortage of alcoholic drinks thanks to the red tape and a new 300 percent import tax. * Intolerant Indonesia -- reflecting on the increasing intolerance that some members of society are now showing to others. * Celebrating Diversity -- since we are in the mood of celebrating, we may as well celebrate our richness. Or if VIY 2009 is a continuation of VIY 2008, and since we are too lazy to think of a new slogan, let's just settle with "Celebrating 101 years..." Got any suggestions? Send in your entry by email to readersforum@thejakartapost.com or by SMS to +628111872772.

Happy New Year.


"Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful" meets with H.E.Dr.Hakopyan


Consul General Hon. Armen Liloyan , Ara Boyadjian,

H.E. Dr. Heranush Hakopyan, Minister of Diaspora Republic of Armenia


Lisa Boyadjian, Dr. Hranoush Hakopyan, Ara Boyadjian


"Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” meets with H.E. Dr. Hakopyan

The "Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful" project was introduced to the newly appointed Minister of Diaspora, H.E. Dr. Hranush Hakopyan.

On the eve of November 26, 2008. during her maiden visit to Southern California, Ara Boyadjian and Lisa Boyadjian had the honor to meet with Dr. Hakopyan, with the presence of Consul General of Republic of Armenia in Los Angeles, Mr. Armen Liloyan, Vice Consul Mr. Mesrob Shaboyan and Noyan Tapan news agency director Mr. Dikran Haroutyounian.

Other than presenting the logo and concept of the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful”, we were able to discuss several ideas on how “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” project and the Ministry of Diaspora can assist each other in promoting tourism to Armenia.

Among other subjects, Ara Boyadjian told Her Excellency, about a Chinese proverb, “a thousand mile journey starts with a first step” resembling the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” project as the first step towards repatriation “physically or mentally”, as Dr. Hakopyan was mentioning the importance of repatriation during her speeches. Dr. Hakobyan gracefully acknowledged the project and what it stands for as well as offered the Ministry’s support and praise.

One of the ideas proposed was creating a specialized communication means to the Ministry for different groups or organizations in the Diaspora to relay to the Ministry questions, concerns and provide expert workable thoughts and ideas so that talk is changed to action.

“Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” is grateful to Consul General Liloyan for arranging this Meeting and thank H.E.Hakopyan for her unconditional dedication to the mission of this unique Ministry.



5th Anniversary Celebration - January 29, 2008

“Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” project celebrates its Fifth Anniversary.

The United Armenian Congregational Church Hall was the setting of the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” project’s fifth Anniversary celebration on January 29, 2008

Over 160 Guests attended this unique function, including the Office of The Consul General of the Republic of Armenia, Clergy, representatives of several Armenian organizations such as The Armenian Bar Association, Hadjin Compatriots organization, Aintab Compatriots, The Media and press as well as community leaders and friends. Horizon Armenian TV (a major supporter of this project) reporter and film crew were present

Rev. Ron Tovmassian, The UACC Men’s Fellowship, Arka Photography of Hollywood and Air France Western region had cosponsored this event. After a delicious food prepared and served by Kuyr Varteni and Shoushan Boyadjian, during which a 17 minutes slide show was projected, the program started with the opening remarks of Lena Boyadjian Melkonian. Due to its interesting and informative nature we give it to you in its entirety.

My name is Lena Boyadjian Melkonian, and on behalf of “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” I welcome you and thank you for joining us this evening in celebration of the 5th anniversary of this special project. Most of you already know the objective behind the slogan/logo of Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful and have visited the non-commercial, non-profit web site VisitArmenia.org.

For those who are not very familiar, the main goal of VAIIB is to spread the word that Armenia is not just for Armenians to visit but that it is a beautiful and unique country with varied attractions full of history, culture and an array of different sights and adventures that all people can visit and enjoy. . An increase in tourism will boost the country’s economy without much effort. Both the tourist through satisfaction of their visit, and the country, as a whole, from tourism, automatically benefit. So you see, we can help Armenia’s economy, from abroad, by promoting Armenia and tourism to Armenia.

It’s simple; each of us should do what we can, on a small or larger scale to help Armenia. I would like to ask each person here tonight to make a commitment - Which is:

1) Either visit Armenia, 2) Tell everyone we know (Armenian or Odar) to visit Armenia - refer them to the VISITARMENIA.ORG website, 3) If you have already visited Armenia don’t hide your pictures in an album, show them off to your family, friends, co-workers, neighbors.

Let us show the world that ARMENIA is truly beautiful and should be our next vacation destination. I know it will be mine.

During the past 5 years, this project and its intended goal has successfully reached many countries in the 5 continents. Emails are received from throughout the world. Some with questions about Armenia, such as for visa requirements, accommodations, available tours, while other emails give suggestions or concerns. Remember, since this is a non-commercial project, specific reference to hotels, restaurants or tour operators can not be provided, however, we do our best to provide as thorough a response as possible with no name dropping. Sometimes people are referred to tours organized through non-profit organizations, which are also posted on the site.

Many times, valid concerns or suggestions are referred to the proper authorities for a response or action. In fact, during our annual visits to Armenia, we meet with various ministries such as The Ministry of Trade and Economic Development and The Ministry of Culture and Youth Affairs as well as others - to relay and emphasize the need for certain changes, construction and other matters that are directly linked with tourism from information and concerns relayed to us. And I am happy to say that slowly but surely many of the issues discussed have been addressed and we have personally experienced the positive changes during our visits.

In other words, the VAIIB project seems to have gone beyond its mission and somehow now serves also as a direct liaison between Armenia and those interested in Armenia.

From its inception, the VAAIB concept/logo/slogan has been offered by its founder, Ara Boyadjian, for use by Armenia, and all organizations so that a unified/uniform campaign is launched to attract tourists to Armenia.

In an effort to expand this further, we ask the media, all organizations, youth groups, churches, schools to incorporate the logo in their publications and communities, particularly those organizations with chapters in other parts of the world so that they also adopt and publicize the logo/slogan of Visit Armenia It Is Beautiful.

On your tables you will find envelopes with cards inside. Please take a few minutes to write your impressions, feed back or suggestions about the VAIIB project. Also, please take one of the bumper stickers that are presented as the centerpiece on your table, and kindly do use them.

I understand that the Honorable Armen Liloyan, Consul General of the Republic of Armenia, has issued a letter of appreciation I would like to invite Mrs. Armineh Balian, Public Relations Director of the Consulate General of the Republic Of Armenia, on behalf of the Consul General’s office to the podium to present the certificate to my father Ara Boyadjian. Thank you very much.

Following the presentation of the Certificate, Ara Boyadjian thanked all four Youth Organization, namely AYF, AGBU, Glendale College Armenian Studies and UACC Youth Mission Groups for their participation and presentations. He thanked Rev. Ron Tovmassian, UACC Men’s Fellowship, Mr. Haygaz Hovanisyan, Shahe and Sahag Melelian Brothers of Arka Photo for cosponsoring this event. As well as The Consul General of the Republic of Armenia, Honorable Armen Liloyan for appreciation of his work.

He specially thanked the persons or organizations for their assistance and support during the past 5 years:

Stepan Partamian for helping design the logo. Razmig Arabian for designing and up keeping the visitarmenia.org web site Hagop Seropian, Michel Shahinian and Annie Kertenian for recording copying editing audio and videos and memories albums. Horizon Armenian TV and its technical staff, Bianca Manoogian, Harry Vorperian, Appo Jabarian and USA Armenian Life Magazine, Vahan Vahanian and Nor Hayastan Daily and all TV shows that interviewed him and aired the VAIIB infomercial. Focal Point Horizon TV with Dr. Manouk Seraydarian, AABS TV Nerses Adamian, Parev with Nune Avedisian, Badouhan with Chahe Keuroghlian as well as various TV programs and Radio stations in Armenia.

He additionally thanked Sebouh and Shoghig Baghdoyan and Masis.at from Vienna and Hrach Kalsahakian and Azad-Hye.net from UAE for their input. He thanked the persons who helped translate portions of the web site, Diana Yeranosyan into Portugese, Rita Martirosian, French, Liza Pirona and Rosie Linares Spanish and Anahit Shahverdian into Russian.

He did mention the VAIIB project was honored by the Burbank Chapter of the ANC for its merit and the William Saroyan award was presented to him along with other certificates of recognition from Congressmen, Assemblymen and Burbank City officials in May 2006.

He did thank God for giving him the enthusiasm and perception to promote Hayastan and finally he extended his gratitude to his wife, Shoushan, Daughters Lena and Lisa and grandchildren, Michael and Savannah for their support and help in writing, proof reading and generally helping in all aspects of this project.

He then invited the four youth organization’s representatives to come to help cut the anniversary cakes beautifully decorated with the LOGO and he ended his remarks by reminding every one to “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” and be sure to tell others.

AYF, AGBU, Glendale College Armenian Studies and UACC Youth Mission groups each presented documentary videos of their own activities during their visit to Armenia. These presentations serve as an enhancement to other organizations to plan and incorporate trips to Armenia as part of their activities.

ATV "Parev TV" Show - August 8, 2007

Ara Boyadjian of VAIIB was a guest of Parev TV live program with hostess Nune Avetissian that aired on ATV.

After a brief introduction and emphasizing that the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” project is not a commercial/business entity, the discussion continued about the importance of visiting Armenia and encouraging friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers to plan their next vacation to Armenia.

In a question from Nune about what other places Armenians like to visit, Ara answered that any European or Middle Eastern country is an excellent combinable stop over for trips to Armenia. He suggested that people ask their travel agents to arrange 10-12 days trip to Armenia, started by or followed with a stop over in Paris, London, Munich, Amsterdam, Vienna, Prague, Moscow, Beirut, Aleppo, Dubai (these are the cities which currently have direct flights to Yerevan). He also explained that any European stop over is possible with the connecting flights to Yerevan out of the above-mentioned cities.

During the discussion, Ara suggested that when Armenians travel to other countries, to make sure and visit sights, monuments and churches of interest to Armenians. He explained that Armenians have a large number of establishments or monuments through out the world such as the old Armenian Church in Singapore and Calcutta, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires, Jerusalem etc... Also, when visiting at the Vatican, remember to ask the guide to point you to St. Gregory the Illuminator's statue. Every one should know that we are interested in our history, heritage and culture.

Ara also mentioned that every time one travels to Armenia, there is another new place to visit. He told the audience that a drive along Sevan Lake from the eastern side or south on the western shores (not the usual side of the lake that usually tourist travel) is recommended since the scenery is fantastic. Also a visit to Goshavank, near Dilijan and Akhtala near the Northern boarder are places to consider.

Nune emphasized Ara's optimism about Armenia while at the same time noting his realization that difficulties also exist in the country. We are all hopeful that in time, improvements in all arenas will be made.

Ara explained that it is very important for every Armenian in the Diaspora that visits Armenia to explain and give information from their expertise (ideas/suggestions from their line of work) so that the people there are educated and can find ways to improve their lives.

Ara also asked the audience to tell everyone they know throughout the world about the VAIIB logo and asked all organizations to contact him if he can help them to promote Armenia.

Nune ended the show asking the viewers to Love and Respect Armenia and definitely Visit Armenia, because, It Is Beautiful!

Armenian Life Weekly   - Los Angeles, February 9, 2007

A meeting took place on December 13, 2006, in the offices of the Armenian Consulate housed at 50 La Cienega Boulevard, in Los Angeles, California wherein newly appointed Consul-General Mr. Armen Liloyan received Ara Boyadjian, founder of the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” campaign (“VAIIB campaign”).
Armen Liloyan

Consul General Liloyan, his hands full with his important mission to locally serve the Motherland by looking after its interests at his newly appointed post in Los Angeles, upon learning of the existence of the VAIIB campaign, extended an invitation to Mr. Boyadjian to visit the Consulate and discuss, in detail, the purpose and goals of said project.

During the meeting Ara Boyadjian, along with his daughter Lena Boyadjian Melkonian, expressed their views about the potential positive impact of the VAIIB campaign on the growth of tourism in Armenia.

In essence, the idea and purpose of the campaign is a non-partisan, non-commercial promotion of tourism to Armenia. Travel and tourism is one of the most important aspects for the growth of Armenian economy. In addition to its positive impact on the economy, it promotes peace, understanding, goodwill and cultural exchange amongst people.

The beauty of Armenia is not only encompassed in its nature, landscape, and ecosystem, but also in its rich culture and people. Armenia is not limited to those of only Armenian heritage, but for all tourists throughout the world. Additionally, this opens an opportunity of a further arena of business and trade when tourists visit this newly independent country and see first hand the wide range of business opportunities in Armenia.

Mr. Boyadjian presented his work over the last several years, in Los Angeles, Yerevan and through the Internet worldwide, in promoting the VAIIB campaign as well as the slogan/logo of “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful”. He stressed that the entire campaign and project, which he has full heartedly devoted himself to, is not his proprietorship, rather that it may belong to the Republic of Armenia and the Armenian people, and urges all Armenians, whether it be individuals, organizations, the Church, and Armenia to take on the responsibility of utilizing the slogan/logo and promoting the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” campaign for the enrichment and growth of tourism and trade in Armenia.

The Consul- General expressed his commendation for both the idea and work of the VAIIB project, and agreed that the campaign was adequate for the promotion of tourism to Armenia.  He offered the readiness of the Consulate to further the project and to consolidate the campaign, when appropriate, in their local operations and undertakings.

The meeting also focused on the need to use available information technologies and resources for advertising Armenia as a popular tourism destination.

The meeting concluded with Mr. Boyadjian’s gratitude to the Consul General for the opportunity to discuss the project, and for the Consul’s vision in enveloping the VAIIB concept, and for further and ongoing synergy between the Armenian Consulate and VAIIB.

The following week, Mr. Boyadjian, representing VAIIB, also attended a reception at Le Meridien Hotel hosted by the Armenian Consul General on December 18, 2006 in celebration of the 15th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Armenia.  Armenian Church leaders, Foreign Dignitaries and representatives of a wide range of the Armenian community organizations and individuals were in attendance.

The importance of playing a role in society extends beyond the daily and normal activities people perform each day to sustain their livelihood. Taking on the responsibility of being engaged in an activity that can benefit others is clearly satisfying.  Spreading the word that Armenia is beautiful, and that people should visit Armenia does not take a lot of effort, and should be a motto for all Armenians.  Printing the “Visit Armenia, It Is Beautiful” slogan/logo in all Armenian publications or airing it in other media arenas is accomplishing.  Every Armenian should take on this responsibility. For more information, visit the VAIIB website at www.visitarmenia.org, and remember to “VISIT ARMENIA, IT IS BEAUTIFUL”, and to tell others.

Horizon Armenian TV  “Focal Point” - Los Angeles, October 24, 2006

On his return from Armenia, Ara Boyadjian was invited to a live show with Dr.Manoug Seraydarian of “Focal Point” program.  During this interview Ara reported about the different functions, celebrations, conventions, concerts and festivities that took place during his visit to Armenia from September 12 to October 15. The highlights were the 15th Independence of Armenia Anniversary celebration with a Military Parade, Concerts and shows at Vasken Sargsyan Stadium, Opera House concert with Shoushan Petrosyan, fireworks, the third Armenia Diaspora Conference, The 160th Anniversary of the Armenian Evangelical Churches and their convention in Armenia, Armenian Relief Society’s celebrations of 15th Anniversary of ARS Armenia. The visit of President Jacques Chirac of France to Armenia, The fantastic concert by Charles Aznavour, etc.

During this live show, Dr. Seraydarian took several phone calls from the audience who had questions, concerns and suggestions about issues such as traffic, cleanliness and city services. Ara promised to take these concerns to the proper authorities hoping that eventually the officials will act upon some of these problems. Dr.Seraydarian repeatedly told the audience that this interview is to promote tourism, through publicizing the “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” logo and that this project is absolutely non-commercial and there are no gains to anyone except helping Armenia’s economy. Ara made an appeal to experts in the audience in the fields of traffic, trash collection, and health to contact him with suggestions and ideas so that he can pass this information to the appropriate authorities in Armenia. The “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” telephone number 818-566-1782 was given so that the audience can call and obtain posters, post cards, pens or bumper stickers.

AR TV “Azdarari Hetagic” show - Yerevan, Oct 14,2006

Alik Hakopyan

“Azdarari Hetagic” live talk show airs every Sunday night from AR TV in Yerevan with host Alik Hakobyan. Due to scheduling Mr.Hakobyan prerecorded a one-hour show, which will broadcast in November 2006.

Ara Boyadjian presented the slogan/logo “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” and explained the benefits of publicizing a direct and meaningful slogan with the word “Visit” prominently asking people to visit Armenia because it is Beautiful. He also explained that the tourism income eventually would help everyone thus the country’s economy.

In addition to publicizing this logo in the Diaspora, Ara suggested that it is every Armenian’s duty in Armenia to support this project by simply “Keeping Armenia beautiful and Clean”. He specially asked the taxi drivers and people who are in direct contact with tourists to refrain from negative discussions about life in Armenia as tourists are here to enjoy what Armenia has to offer and not to listen to grievances that they can not help. He made an appeal to all Entertainers who travel abroad to add the slogan “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” to the end of their performances, inviting the audience and everyone to visit Armenia.

Radio Hai Lur - Buenos Aires, Argentina August 17,2006

Radio hostess Ms.Lilit Harutiounian who now has two radio shows in Argentina, one from Cordoba and the second from Buenos Aires conducted a one hour live interview with Ara Boyadjian, discussing the promotion of the “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” logo and updating her audience about the tourism progress in Armenia. Some comments were simultaneously translated to Spanish and the slogan “Visite Armenia, Es Hermoso” was repeated several times during the show. Ara suggested that first time visitors to Armenia should go there with an all inclusive tour group of a Church or Compatriotic organization so that most sights are included and visited.

Overall this was a pleasant and informative interview.

ARTN TV “Badouhan” Show- Los Angeles May 09, 2006

Chahe Keuroghelian hosted a one hour live show and presented to his audience Ara Boyadjian’s “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” project. The questions posed by Mr.Keuroghlian were very well prepared. The interview went along the lines of the benefits of tourism for Armenia and its positive impact on the economy, thus eventually benefiting everyone and slowing down the exodus and encouraging repatriation.

Ara explained to the audience that due to influx of tourists, several airlines are adding service to Yerevan from different points in Europe. Also hotels, many under internationally known hospitability managed companies, such as Golden Tulip, Marriott and Best Eastern chains, are helping to introduce Armenia to the world.

A large number of callers wanted to know about this project, although some had unrelated questions to which Ara answered that he will bring these concerns to the appropriate authorities.

Mr.Keuroghlian wanted to know specifically about the involvement of the youth to which Ara explained that it is very important for the youth to participate in their local organizations, such as sports, scouts, Church, benevolent or any other type of organization, which helps teach volunteerism and promote peace and harmony amongst people, thus eventually preparing leaders of tomorrow and asked the youth to contact him through the e-mail with their suggestion and ideas.

The Visit Armenia It Is Beautiful project would like to praise Mr. Keuroghlian for his understanding of its project, logo and slogan and continued support of same.

AABS TV - Los Angeles April 03, 2006


Once again, Ara Boyadjian had the pleasure to sit with Mr. Nersess Adamian, host of AABS TV, Los Angeles to promote the logo of “ Visit Armenia it is Beautiful”. This was the third visit to AABS TV. With continued support from sponsor ARKA Photography of Hollywood Ara Boyadjian hopes to have other future appearances and update the audience of AABS TV about his project. He also urged people to contact him with suggestions, ideas and thoughts to help promote Armenia’s tourism.

Horizon Armenian TV, “Focal Point” - Los Angeles March 28, 2006


Glendale, CA March 28, 2006 - Ara Boyadjian was interviewed in a live broadcast on Horizon Armenian TV. Focal Point with host Dr. Manoug Seraydarian, the “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” project was discussed again in this one-hour program during which several phone calls were received from the audience. Callers had questions, comments and suggestions about availability and quality of Tourist services and the improvements made during the past several years. Ara answered with details. He emphasized the importance of tourism to help Armenia’s economy, which will benefit everyone, thus slowing down the exodus and even encourage repatriation.

Here are some of the highlights of that live program:

We are aware that this is a non-commercial project to encourage tourism to Armenia.

What does Armenia have to offer?

It is very important to have a recognizable logo/slogan with a direct message of “Visit” and “Armenia” and because Armenia offers a natural beauty, excellent historical monuments and specially hospitable and warm people, we must tell the world “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful”.

Several callers from the audience had questions about the aim of this project, safety in general and youth travel in particular as well as availability of clean accommodations and facilities.

The aim of this project is very clear, encourage Armenians to travel to Armenia and tell others to visit too. As to safety Armenia is very safe country both in Yerevan and elsewhere and due to building and opening of large number of quality hotels and restaurants of which several are managed by internationally known hotel management teams such as Marriott, Golden Tulip hotels, Best Eastern Hotels and others, facilities are becoming more and more available.

I understand “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” is also known in non-English speaking countries. Are you planning to have some other languages in your web site?

As I always say, this web site is not mine. It belongs to the Armenian people throughout the world. I am open to suggestions, comments and will even consider having some pages in different languages such as French, Spanish, Portuguese, etc. During my last visit to Armenia I asked for volunteers to translate to Russian too as there is a large Armenian community in Russia and of course many Russians will enjoy visiting Armenia.

A caller wanted to know how to obtain the Logo bumper sticker

Send me an e-mail or call my number at 818-566-1782 and I will gladly sent you one.

(Over forty calls and e-mails were received during the next day asking for bumper stickers which were mailed free of charge.)

In conclusion it was again clearly stated that people should call their travel agents and make reservations very early to obtain better fares as several airlines have added new flights from different European cities to Yerevan such as Air France it had its inaugural flight from Paris on March 27, 2006 and it was suggested to the youth to spend their summer vacations in Armenia with youth group tours arranged by the different Churches and organizations.

RadioVital Hai-Lur Cordoba - Argentina February 19,2006

A live phone interview was conducted on Sunday morning at 830am Argentina time, with Hostess Ms.Lilit Harutiounian. Ara Boyadjian explained to the audience the importance and benefits of having a direct logo and answered several questions regarding how to promote tourism to Armenia and encouraged everyone to tell a friend about the web site. Ms.Harutiunian translated to slogan to Armenian "Aytzelek Hayastan, na Keghetzig e" and also to Spanish "Visite Armenia, Es Hermoso".
This radio broadcast is heard through the Internet in several countries including most of South and Central America, Mexico, USA, Canada, most of Europe and Middle East.On February 26the interview with Vem Radio of Yerevan was rebroadcast at RadioVital Cordoba.

AABS TV - Los Angeles, CA, August 08, 2005

One hour live show with host Nersess Adamian where Ara Boyadjian reported the latest improvements in the tourism sector and also suggested that every Armenian in the Diaspora should promote the "Visit Armenia it is Beautiful" logo and use products made in Armenia.

This was the second time Ara was a guest on this program.

Vem Radio - Yerevan, Armenia, July 25, 2005

Live Broadcast on Vem Radio

YerkirMedia TV - Yerevan, Armenia, July 14,  2005

YerkirMedia TV station – Morning Variety show with Dikran introduced Ara Boyadjian as a tourism expert with years of experience in promoting countries and presented the logo and the slogan of “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful”.

Can you tell us about the Logo and the Web site?
This unique logo and the web site are designed to introduce Armenia and its Beauty to the world and its direct message “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” will remain always current, now, in ten or fifty years. I try to distribute this non-commercial site to everyone throughout the world. I receive e-mails from all over and as I always say, this is not my web site; it belongs to every Armenian wherever they are. It is important that this logo/slogan becomes part of our daily lives.

I did visit the web site
www.visitarmenia.org and found it to be very interesting with a lot of photos, subjects and links. How else are you promoting this site and logo?
Horizon Armenia TV in Glendale California as well as several Newspapers, Magazines, some businesses, schools and churches help publicize the logo, displaying posters, and distributing post cards, car bumper stickers, T-shirts and tank tops. I had the posters and cards printed in Armenia, the stickers and the T-shirts in Los Angeles, which I paid for myself. It is difficult but I am hoping it will produce good results.

I will now ask our operator to play the 22 seconds infomercial that Horizon Armenia TV airs in Los Angles. Then pleas tell us what else you do for this project?

How can you reach the non-Armenian public?
In the Diaspora I suggest Armenians give their non-Armenian friends and coworkers gifts made in Armenia such as Armenian wine, preservatives or art, that helps the export and also gives a reason to talk about Armenia and direct them to the Visitarmenia web site which has informative non-commercial links. During live TV interviews I receive questions not related to tourism, which I try to answer in hopes that responsible parties take note and work toward solutions.

A musical intermission with Alla Levonian song after which the discussion was about how to improve services and availability of facilities etc… Ara again suggested that Armenian business community make use of the logo, which eventually will help the economy. He also emphasized the importance of launching this propaganda campaign throughout the world at the same time because the direct slogan “Visit Armenia it is beautiful” speaks for it self. We can all work together and succeed together.

Hayastan One TV - Yerevan, Armenia, July 12, 2005

Ara Boyadjian was invited to Hayastan One TV station morning variety show with hosts Mariam Ghaplanian and Felix Khachatryan for an interview regarding “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful”.

Good Morning, please tell us how do you start your mornings?
I start my mornings always thinking about Armenia but first let me thank H1 TV station and you for inviting me here to give you a brief explanation of my “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” project and make everyone aware of its benefits and seek everyone’s assistance for its success.

What this project will do and when did you start working on this?
This slogan/logo will promote our country as a tourist destination thus helping improve Armenia’s economy. I started planning this campaign several years ago but I actually went full blast beginning of 2004 by e-mailing throughout the world and there are several Armenian TV stations, Magazines and newspapers in the Diaspora who use this logo without any financial anticipation.

What is the web address? And you told us this site is not yours but all Armenians
Yes, this web site is not mine. It belongs to the Armenian people, here and in the Diaspora. Everyone throughout the world should direct people to this web site for information as I have chosen excellent links (non-commercial) such as the ADTA office on Nalbandian Blvd. and The RA Foreign Minister site. I also have met in the past with RA deputy minister of trade and economic development Mr.Ara Petrosyan and received his moral support for this harmless and pleasant project. It is important to know that this slogan does not get old because Armenia is Beautiful Now, in twenty or Fifty years. Diaspora Armenians will come to visit first, and then in time non-Armenians will come too. Once this happens everyone will benefit and prosper. The Armenian people are hospitable the young professionals in the tourist and service industries are very nice and we have excellent web designers.

Do you see progress in tourism?
Every time I come I notice great progress, which eventually will benefit everyone.

You have T-shirts and other promotional materials. How do you distribute them?Schools and other organizations use these for their fund raising project. What I like to see, Armenian businesses that export products, such as bottled water,  print this logo in one corner, it does not cost extra, yet it helps publicize our country. Also for example I know there is an Armenian boat Gilikia sailing the Mediterranean, which is excellent  maybe the Captain can display this Logo among the other flags, inviting people to come to Armenia. I also have a plea to our singers especially the ones who travel abroad. They should become Armenia’s good will ambassadors and at the end of their performances they should invite people to come to Armenia by saying “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful”

What future plans do you have for this project?
I talk about Armenia and “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” at least 15 hours a day, it is important to keep talking about this to keep the interest alive. Students in the Diaspora who travel to Armenia should write essays about why they like to visit Armenia and on their return home they should write about what they learned from the visit. My four year old granddaughter who is with me, since we booked our trip, every time she sees a building with tall columns (resembling to Garni temple) asks if this is Armenia. Children’s songs about going to Armenia are also an excellent means to enhance love of our country.

Who in your family is with you?
My wife, my two daughters and two grandchildren. My older daughter has been to Armenia 7-8 times with me, and with her own family. We love it and we all constantly talk about Armenia.

Is there any Government support?
No, This is not a Government program, I do not expect anything. I hope everyone can display this logo in their homes, work place, cars, and buses and also inform their relatives abroad to download and print this logo in any prominent manner. There is no copyright permission requirement.

What do you have in the Web site?
I have a photo gallery, excellent non-commercial links and information about the E-visa service of the RA Foreign Ministry

Thank you and your last comments please
I am so impressed with the Armenian peoples’ hospitability especially the young service industry workers, who are very knowledgeable, polite and pleasant.

You forgot something….
Oh…you are right… “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful”

Armenian-American Broadcasting Service - Los Angeles, February 28, 2005

An interview was conducted at Armenian American Broadcasting Service’s live TV Show with host Nersess Adamian, where Ara Boyadjian introduced the “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” project and its web site visitarmenia.org A large number of callers with comments, suggestions and questions contacted the show and received clarifications and answers to their concerns.

Here are some of the highlights of that one-hour live program:

After thanking the host and the station for this invitation, Ara briefly explained the importance of having a recognizable logo with a direct slogan “Visit Armenia”, which promotes tourism thus helping Armenia’s economy.

How did the idea of  “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” start?
After my first visit to Armenia in 1998 with my family, I fell in love with the country its beauty and wonderful people and as an expert in tourism I thought the best way to promote Armenia is to create this logo/slogan and web site and distribute it throughout the world.

Other Countries spend large sums of money, is anyone helping you with your project?
Some other Countries spend millions of dollars, in TV, Magazines, Newspapers and other means of advertising. My project is a non-commercial project and it needs the support of the Armenian Media and organization throughout the world to spread the word about this unique logo and the web site. I do not have any financial support from anyone; this is purely a voluntary project, which needs every Armenian’s participation.

How will this help Armenia financially?
Tourism is one of the best sources of income to a countries economy. First the people working in the tourism and services areas will benefit directly from the tourist dollars, soon after the entire country’s economy benefits as tourists spend their money at hotels, restaurants, entertainment, theater, concerts and art. It is every Armenian’s duty to promote our country to increase its tourism and “visitarmenia.org” web site is the best tool where people could find information through the carefully selected links.

How do local Armenians communicate with tourist?
Several languages are spoken fluently at hotels, restaurants and many stores as well as Armenia can be proud with a number of tourist guides who are young, highly educated well informed of Armenia’s history and places of interest, English, Russian, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Persian, Arabic and other languages are spoken.

How  can our viewers contribute to this project?
It is important to talk about Armenia every day. We can give Armenian products as gifts to our non-Armenian coworkers, thus increasing awareness about Armenia and then direct them the visitaremnia.org web site.

One of the viewers wanted to know if there are car rental companies in Armenia for which Ara answered yes, and said that a mid size car, rental is about $45.00 per day and that all makes and models of cars are driven in Armenia. Some callers needed to know about minimum wage, retirement income, availability of public bathrooms and if Ara organizes group tours to Armenia, for which he directed them to their local Travel Agent to make trip reservations.

The interview ended with Ara repeating that this web site “does not belong to me- it belongs to every Armenian” and asking every one to publicize it in their environment.

The host thanked the sponsor of the show Mr.Sahag Melelian of Arka Photography in Hollywood.

Armenian Life Weekly - Los Angeles. 2005

“Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” a slogan we are sure many have seen in the pages of Armenian Life over the past several months. In fact, some of our readers have noticed this logo on Television and other Armenian publications.

Clearly, the meaning of this phrase is obvious. It is an appeal to visit our motherland.

This is not something new. Over the last decade, there have been numerous tours arranged by different organizations taking travelers to Armenia. However, this phrase goes beyond the obvious. Not only is it to entice fellow Armenians to visit our homeland but it is to get across a message to non-Armenians as well. A trip to Armenia is not privileged to Armenians alone.

Armenia is a country abounding in history and beauty. All people interested in ancient lands will find Armenia as inspiring and exhilarating. In fact, those who have visited Armenia can attest that this is an unusual place mixed with old world charm and modern sophistication. There is something of interest for all age groups. This slogan invites people of all nationalities to experience this beautiful country.

A few years ago, Ara Boyadjian, along with his wife, daughters and 3 siblings planned a trip to Armenia in memory of his father Krikor who passed away before Armenia’s Independence. Krikor was a devoted Armenian who taught in many Armenian schools throughout his lifetime and always dreamed of a free and independent Armenia. Unfortunately, he left this world without ever knowing that we now have a free and Independent Armenia. His children believed it was their duty and in his honor visited their motherland, Armenia. Though, they were taught to from childhood to love Armenia, the actual first hand experience turned their ideology into tangible love of country.

Since then, Ara and his wife have returned to Armenia on yearly vacations. They have enthusiastically spoken of Armenia and its beauty to family and friends giving cause for others to visit. All have joined Ara’s belief of “why go elsewhere when Armenia has so much to offer”. One of the main ingredients to aid a growing country is to expand its tourism. Since Armenia is a country growing rapidly, Ara believes it is our duty as Armenians to help in the process, by taking their vacations in Armenia, travelers benefit from an unforgettable experience while automatically helping the country’s economy and progress.

Early in 2004, Ara decided that his message needed to reach more people. He began a campaign to promote tourism to Armenia and developed the slogan Visit Armenia it is Beautiful. “I thought that it is important that a truthful and direct statement about Armenia would be most efficient.” The slogan along with a logo depicting Mt. Ararat and the outline of a church was prepared and printed onto postcards, flyers, posters and t-shirts, which are distributed to local stores and businesses in the Los Angeles area, Southern California and Arizona.

To take it a step further, with the assistance of Razmig Arabian, he developed a website
www.visitarmenia.org. Now anyone around the world can visit the site to learn more information about Armenia. “I developed the logo and website on behalf of the Armenian people. I invite each Armenian to visit the site and encourage others, Armenian or non-Armenians alike to visit. It’s the first step towards taking a trip to Armenia as well. I strongly believe that each person who helps promote tourism to Armenia is a direct benefactor to the growth and prosperity of the country.

Armenia is growing. The country is strongly aware of the importance that tourism plays in its economic prosperity. Hotels, restaurants and other tourist sites are developing. Service personnel from cafe workers, hotel concierges to taxi drivers are all pleasantly awaiting to meet and graciously serve you. So why not visit Armenia, after all it is Beautiful. Introducing the website is essentially introducing the country. Once people learn about the country their consideration to visit develops and a destination is set. Upon return don’t be surprised if the person wants to return again.

Ara has thus far personally financed the promotion of the Visit Armenia concept in order to get the message across throughout the world that Armenia is a country that should be visited. His work is non-commercial, non-partisan with no personal expectations. He urges all Armenian organizations, churches, schools and other entities that have publications or media access to incorporate the slogan/logo in their productions, whether it be television programs, journals, magazines, newspapers, books, advertising books, or even flyers. A little effort can go a long way. If you have any thoughts you can e-mail Ara through
info@visitarmenia.org. You will note that the website also links you to other carefully selected non-commercial sites.

Armenian Life Magazine commends Ara Boyadjian for turning an idea into a reality, for his work thus far and joins his belief that we must all do our part to help in the growth of Armenia.

Horizon Armenian TV - December 21, 2004

Glendale, CA December 21, 2004—Mr. Ara Boyadjian, an expert of many years with wide knowledge of the Travel and Tourism industries, was interviewed as part of a live broadcast on Horizon Armenian TV. Focal Point with host Dr. Manoug Seraydarian, featured the “Visit Armenia it is Beautiful” project for this one-hour program during which Dr. Seraydarian received several phone calls from the audience. Several callers had questions, comments and suggestions about availability of quality services, hotels, restaurants, public restrooms to which Ara answered with details. He emphasized the Armenian tour guides being very educated, young, knowledgeable, and polite and availability of a large number of different category hotels with excellent rates.

Here are some of the highlights of that one-hour live program:

What is the aim of the VisitArmenia.org Project?
“Visit Armenia It is Beautiful” logo with a direct slogan emphasizing the words Visit and Armenia should become a worldwide-recognized logo, which will stimulate Armenians and non-Armenians alike to travel to Armenia.

How did the idea of the logo come about?
As an expert in promoting tourism to several countries, I created this logo as a tool to use to introduce Armenia to everyone throughout the world. The Armenian Media and especially Horizon Armenian TV was the first who unconditionally started to make use of this project, preparing and airing a 22 seconds public service announcement infomercial for which I thank its management, staff and technical support. Several newspapers and magazines are also printing this logo in their pages.

Is this a business or are there any financial gains to you or to anyone else?
This is not a business, there are no money transactions and no one has any financial gains. I am hopping that the direct beneficiary will be the Armenian people.

I understand the importance of recognized logos, such as Shell or McDonalds and others, which are recognized throughout the world, how are you distributing this logo?
I e-mail throughout the world to all Armenian Churches, Organizations, Media, Schools, Establishments, publishers of Magazines, scholars, educators, newspapers or anyone who prints something of interest to Armenians asking them to print and publicize this unique logo.

I understand then that there are no copyright or permission requirements to make use of this logo.
Yes that is true. Anyone can use this logo in any acceptable median as far as the logo is not changed or distorted.

Is there any financial aid or any help from anyone for this project?
No, there are no financial aids, a young man, Stepan prepared the logo and the web site is designed and up kept by Razmig Arabian for free. The minor expenses for the web site, printing and mailing, I pay for on my own hoping that one-day Armenia will benefit.

Is the Government of Armenia helping in anyway?
I had meetings with Mr.Ara Petrosyan Deputy Minister of RA Ministry of trade and economic development as well as with the assistant director of ADTA where I made them aware of this project but no specific cooperation was established.

How are you reaching to the young generation?
The younger generations are experts in using the Internet. I encourage everyone to use and promote the visitarmenia.org because this site is not mine, it belongs to every Armenian. Also all school seniors who travel to Armenia should write short essays about why they like to visit Armenia and on their return from Armenia write about the experience they gained.

The tourist season is too short for Armenia due to cold winter weather.
Armenia has only eight months of tourist season, however the winter tourism should be encouraged. Dzaghgatzor has excellent skiing and several winter sports facilities and excellent choice of accommodations with unbelievably low prices. Actually it is less expensive to go to Armenia for a ski tour, then going to Aspen or Vail near Denver.

What can people do to support this project and encourage others visit Armenia?
Everyone should tell a friend, an acquaintance or a neighbor to visit the web site
www.visitarmenia.org . E-mail friends and relatives outside the USA, Spend your vacations, anniversaries, family reunions, Christenings even weddings in Armenia

Better yet, always ask, “Have you seen the visitarmenia.org web site?” Because there is always an answer to a question. If the answer is yes, then you can continue with conversation asking about what they saw in the site, and if the answer is No then you can say, please visitarmenia.org

In conclusion then, this project belongs to everyone. We should all support and participate in its success. Thank you and best of luck from Dr. Seraydarian.

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