Action-research for ecotourism development in Armenia
Enhancing the quality of ecotourism services in Vayots Dzor
Location: The Vayots Dzor region of Armenia
Duration: 2017 – 2019
Partnerships and framework: The AREVADZOR project (Enhancing SME competitiveness through promotion and wider use of sustainable innovative technologies) is being implemented by PIN-University of Florence and the Regional Tourism Centre of Vayots Dzor (Armenia). The project is co-funded by the European Union under the “Pilot Regional Development Program (PRDP-Armenia)” and Armenia’s Ministry of Territorial Administration.
Historical/cultural tourism predominates in Armenia, but ecotourism is catching on as well. The Vayots Dzor region has several assets for encouraging tourism in the region, including natural wonders, historical and cultural heritage, biodiversity, and agri-food production. The prospect of greater employment and income opportunities, when combined with the highly welcoming and hosting attitudes of the population, has led to much greater emphasis on the promotion of ecotourism in the region.
The main goal of the project is to enhance the performance of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in the ecotourism and renewable energy sectors through the promotion of sustainable practices, innovative technologies, and effective collaboration between local institutions and CSOs.
What we are doing
ARCO is currently performing the following activities:
- Assessing the ecotourism sector in order to identify both its potential and various obstacles that could affect its sustainable development at both the regional and national level
- Identifying the existing market for ecotourism and opportunities for expansion through branding and promotion
- Assessing pre-existing family-run accommodation facilities and start ups in order to define the most effective ecotourism practices/ “green” business models
ARCO is also providing the following services:
- Training, mentoring, and facilitating networking activities
- Designing a sub-grant scheme
- Establishing a tailored set of standards for accommodation facilities
- Analyzing tourism trends, promotions, and marketing activities