September 28, 2018
Dilijan national park is a unique example of Armenia’s natural world.
Walking and hiking tours to Dilijan National Park now promise more comfortable and pleasant time, as “Dilijan and Adjacent Communities Development Initiative” grant project by Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) Foundation, co-financed by the European Union and Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia, has enabled to build new trails and improve existing ones along with installing information and signal boards.
Robert Alikhanyan, Dilijan National Park deputy director and Areg Karapetyan, Dilijan National Park promotion and trails development coordinator summed up the efforts realized within the project at the press conference in Yerevan on September 27.
Dilijan national park is a unique example of Armenia’s natural world. Boasting rich biodiversity and woodlands, it is located approximately 70km east of Yerevan and considered a favorite with eco tourists visiting Armenia.
According to Areg Karapetyan, certain areas of the park have substantial potential for eco tourism and one of the objectives of “Dilijan and Adjacent Communities Development Initiative” project is to make the park more attractive for eco tourists through eco education and preservation of local ecosystems.
“We have created four new pedestrian trails and one cycling route thanks to the project. Additionally, we improved the existing trails. The combined length of the new ones makes 18km and the cycling route is 29.3km long,” said Karapetyan.
Another step towards increasing the recognition of Dilijan National Park was to make a new logo and regulate the entrance: three main entrances have been established for tourists and equipped with information boards, available in three languages to help tourists choose the trail.
IDeA has installed 50 warning and 50 information signs along the newly created and existing trails, all designed with innovative solutions. The warning signs contain information about possible dangers and the regulations for the tourists, and they can receive educational information about the environment by focusing smartphone camera on the QR code on the information signs.
“These improvements differ from similar efforts carried out in the national park by the fact that they were founded on international experience and standards. Thanks to innovative approaches, tourists and guides will find visiting Dilijan National Park much more comfortable and pleasant now,” said the program coordinator.
One more major change concerns a very important point of infrastructure: the bins and the toilets. Soon they will be installed in the selected spots.
The results of the recent works in Dilijan National Park become more noticeable when combined with the activity of the Tourist Information Center opened in Dilijan this summer, retraining courses for guides and other initiatives implemented in the framework of “Dilijan and Adjacent Communities Development Initiative” project. All these programs complement each other, enabling tourists to enjoy their stay in Dilijan to the full.
“The development of ecotourism infrastructure in Dilijan National Park opens up new opportunities in terms of providing additional financial flows. The global demand for ecotourism is growing by the day, and we need to take advantage of the beautiful natural surroundings here to meet the needs of tourists,” said Robert Alikhanyan, deputy director of Dilijan National Park.
“This grant project is one of eight projects operating within the framework of the Pilot Regional Development Program, which the European Union is implementing jointly with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development. The goal of the program is to create more economic opportunities in the regions of Armenia. The program has shown really tangible results from the point of view of the local residents, as well as visitors,” the EU Delegation stated commenting upon the results of the program.