Ijevan, 07 November 2017 - The official opening ceremony of Tavush Tourism Research and Development (R&D) Center took place in Ijevan branch of the Yerevan State University. The event was organized in the framework of Integrated Rural Tourism Development (IRTD) project, funded by the Russian Federation and implemented by UNDP in Armenia, in close partnership with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development.
Earlier this year the IRTD project announced the news of establishing R&D centers in universities of all regions of Armenia in order to educate and support local communities in tourism development. R&D centers are unique institutions that aim to become a trademark for tourists in finding the best experience while traveling in Armenia.
The event was attended by Vache Terteryan, First Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Armenia, Davit Sahakyan Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Levon Sargsyan, Deputy Governor of Tavush region, and Evgeny Panteleev, Cultural Attaché of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Armenia.
“Today tourism development is a priority for the Government of Armenia and one of the most important and trending topics in our country. We are confident that Armenia has a lot of interesting and yet undiscovered destinations to attract tourists from all over the world. I believe that this center will have a great contribution in tourism development in Armenia,” Vache Terteryan said in his opening remarks.
“One of the core goals of this center is to establish destination management system in rural areas and educate local people on how to identify their communities as a tourist attraction. This will allow them to create income-generating tourism activities for sustainable living. Establishment of this unique center is a very important step, especially when local youth are involved and given a chance to come up with new product ideas and turn them into reality,” Dmitry Mariyasin said. He also noted that the center has all required opportunities to design and develop innovative and creative products for tourists.
“Word education has various interpretations in modern society, but one of the most important components in this process is to have opportunity to make mistakes, experiment and finally succeed. This center gives young people chance to be creative, to make mistakes and learn from them,” Davit Sahakyan said.
The IRTD project offers an intervention strategy for the development of rural tourism in Armenia with the objective of creating sustainable income-generating opportunities as supplemental income source to bring down the level of rural poverty, contribute to equal territorial development and shape conducive environment for rural development. The concept applies integrated approach targeting strong local social networks that explicitly link local actors for the purpose of jointly promoting and maintaining the economic, social, cultural, natural, and human resources of the localities.
During the opening event guests also had chance to meet center’s staff who are newly graduates of YSU Ijevan branch and discuss their work and vision. Opening ceremony was followed by inspiring talks with TEDx speakers and a concert by Armenian band Empyray.
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 nearly 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.