April 30, 2019
"This project which has brought hope, jobs and better future to Dilijan and its residents”,- said CEO of IDeA Foundation.
The joint project of the European Union, RA government and Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) Foundation created new employment opportunities in Tavush marz and contributed to attractiveness of the region as a tourism destination.
Within the project, tourism and hospitality trainings were organised for over 300 residents of Dilijan and adjacent communities, free manuals and guidebooks were printed and handed over to the participants of the trainings.
Dilijan and Adjacent Communities Development Initiative 2-year project has been implemented by IDeA and co-funded by the European Union and RA Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development, in the framework of Pilot Regional Development Programme (PRDP).
The results of the project were summed up at a press conference in Yerevan on April 30. At least 340 residents of Dilijan and adjacent communities – Hovk, Aghavnavank, Khachardzan, Gosh, Haghartsin and Teghut – directly benefited from the project, 50 sustainable employment opportunities have been created, over 100 enterprises were supported to develop their tourism, hospitality, arts and crafts local businesses and create the new ones.
Within the project, the first and still only Tourism Information Centre opened in Tavush last August which already welcomed over 1000 tourists. To make leisure and hiking more comfortable and enjoyable in Dilijan National Park, four new hiking trails and one biking trail were built, the already existing eight trails in the park were refurbished and complemented with innovative information desks.
For about a year, the masters and artisans of Dilijan and adjacent communities have been benefiting from the opportunities at Arts and Crafts Centre (MADE) launched in the city within the project. Besides providing space, furniture and equipment to artisans and masters, the centre employs specialists who can present and sell their products in various places. To encourage small and medium entrepreneurship in the region, the project also issued a grant to 8 SMEs in Dilijan, Hovk, Aghavnavank, Khachardzan, Gosh, Haghartsin and Teghut creating overall 31 workplaces for the community people.
Within the project, an agricultural pavilion and city market were established and launched in Dilijan for agritourism and ecotourism lovers, where the products of the adjacent communities’ farmers will be sold.
"The EU is committed to invest more in regional development in Armenia. We started this programme in 2016 and allocated more than €10 million to launch several projects in different parts of Armenia. This project was one of the most successful one within PRDP in many ways. I would like to thank our partners for the joint efforts for making Dilijan a touristic centre. But still Dilijan has undiscovered potential and I hope this will be only beginning for the investments in making Dilijan heart of many activities", the EU Ambassador Piotr Świtalski mentioned in his speech.
Vache Terteryan, Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia, welcomed representatives of partner institutions and participants, noting that as a result of joint efforts and professional work, the programme implementers managed to realise this important initiative within the set schedule and ensure the expected end result for beneficiaries. “We are excited about realisation of the initiative aimed at prospective development of Dilijan. We managed to do that through long and persistent work. At the same time, we need to take consistent steps for institutionalisation of similar programmes with modern approaches and expanding of geography of the communities”, said the Deputy Minister.
“This was the first example of cooperation between IDeA, the European Union and the Ministry and I want to express our utmost gratitude to all our partners for trusting IDeA and for all the people involved in the successful implementation of the project which has brought hope, jobs and better future to Dilijan and its residents”,- said Rafi Baghdjian, CEO of IDeA Foundation.