Over the next three years 60 communities in Armenia will benefit from UNDP’s intervention to support rural tourism in the country, which will ultimately reduce the level of rural poverty and promote community based tourism and rural development. The “Integrated Rural Tourism Development” project is financed by the Government of the Russian Federation and implemented by UNDP in Armenia, in close partnership with the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development. The project budget is USD 3 million.
Today, Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, and Davit Lokyan, Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, launched the project. A Russian delegation headed by Dmitry Maximychev, Deputy Director, Department of International Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation, were present at the signing ceremony. Representatives of government agencies responsible for rural tourism and community development, as well as international organizations, diplomatic corps and media also attended the event.
Opening the signing ceremony, Bradley Busetto said, “UNDP will provide a holistic approach to rural tourism in the communities, considering the social, including its gender equality, economic, environmental, and cultural aspects of tourism development. After prioritizing communities’ needs, we will establish local supply chains to ensure that the benefits of tourism development are retained within the communities, being equally accessible by both women and men.” He expressed his gratitude to the Governments of Russian Federation and Armenia for the excellent partnership aimed at supporting rural communities in Armenia to thrive as tourist destinations through diversification of services and development of high quality products.
“The potential of rural tourism in Armenia is immense, and I would like all of us today to concentrate in identifying how each one of our institutions can support the unleashing of its potential. I would like to express my appreciation to our international partners for a successful cooperation that we remain committed to continue,” said Minister Lokyan in his opening remarks.
For the past 15 years UNDP has been supporting thousands of residents in more than 150 communities to access new employment and income-generation opportunities in the agro-processing, food processing and construction sectors, increasing their income levels by more than 20 percent. More than 100 greenhouses were established for the most vulnerable in rural communities. In more than 50 communities, rural infrastructure such as irrigation, potable water and gas networks, schools and kindergartens, community centers was built or reconstructed.
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations UNDP in Armenia was established in March 1993, and supports the government in meeting its development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals.