Dilijan is a vital geographical location in a unique Armenian tourist circuit, where each hub acts as a “stopover” and a place where tourist services and relevant infrastructure are concentrated. The projects implemented within the framework of Dilijan Development Program have visibly improved Dilijan’s public spaces and created infrastructure with a combination of commercial and social goals. Dilijan has seen significant growth in the field of tourism and hospitality.
Over the past 8 years, the number of shops in the city have increased eight-fold, while cafes and restaurants have grown four-fold. The number of hotels and B&Bs in the city has also increased by 3.5 times since 2012, and the overall accommodation capacity doubled.



Dilijan Development Program contributed to the adoption of Armenia’s Law On Investment Promotion and Development of the Dilijan Community and Adjacent Areas in Tavush Region, which came into effect on 1 August 2015. It established a legislative basis to increase the investment attractiveness of Dilijan. The efforts were then put to subsequent work to raise broader public awareness of its main clauses, including through work with local governments and various segments of the local community.


Together with Dilijan City Hall, we launched a program of changes to the layout of Dilijan and zoning of Aghstev Riverside District. This has included plans for UWC Dilijan College, as well as Kalinino and Naberejni streets. Work has started on adopting a zoning plan for these latter areas. This has seen the development and implementation of an inventory of work on existing historical and architectural monuments to ensure their preservation and restoration.

The city development master plan is consistent with the strategic objectives of creating infrastructure for leisure/ recreation and entertainment, as well as sports events for local people and tourists utilising international best practices and approaches. It also realises the aims of developing tourist infrastructure, implementing “clean urbanism” and “green urbanism”, promoting economic activity, and employing new urban-planning principles and rules (including the “energy conservation” principle and “intelligent homes” concept). Local people were actively involved in the development of the city’s master plan.


Some essential urban infrastructure concepts have been developed and suggested to Dilijan’s local authorities and relevant Governmental agencies. These have included a Dilijan City Manager concept in the form of a private-public partnership, a Yerevan-Dilijan railroad condition assessment, and recommendations for an action plan and budget for road upgrade, as well as a Yerevan-Dilijan tunnel renovation proposal, amongst other things.



There were once five churches operating in Dilijan. Over time, however, these institutions have been destroyed. Today, the spiritual centre of Dilijan residents occupies one of the facilities of the Old Dilijan hotel complex: church services and ceremonies are held there. CHURCH IN DILIJAN A shining feature of the new, revived Dilijan will become Dilijan church, the construction of which began in 2015. The temple, designed by the famous architect Maxim Atayants, is being built in the centre of the city, on the righthand bank of the Aghstev River. The construction of the church is part of the Dilijan development program and a key element in the improvement of the river bank zone. Located next to the reconstructed park, the church will become a symbolic object of the developing tourist infrastructure and a new city attraction. Aside from helping the Dilijan community to find its own spiritual and religious centre, the project will contribute to the improvement of Dilijan’s urban infrastructure and the development of the area adjacent to the church.


Over the last decades Dilijan City Park had fallen into disrepair.  Initiatives for Development of Armenia Charitable Foundation recognised and championed the need to renovate, restore and upgrade it to its former glory by once again creating a relaxing, safe space for the whole community to enjoy. Running beside the Aghstev River, the park is already seeing the results of these improvements. Careful landscape design and the laying out of new and old networks of walkways through the park have been implemented. The children’s playground has been remodelled and street furniture, such as lighting and benches, have made the park a much more welcoming destination.

Stretching out beneath Café #2, in the heart of Dilijan, the City lake is a first point of contact with the city and a key recreational zone for locals and tourists alike. Realising its significance, Initatives for Development of Armenia Charitable  Foundation has developed a tri-phase program to expand the main body of the lake, beautify and fully integrate it within its surroundings, and develop both cultural and recreational activities around it.


The scope of this social initiative will see the current stadium renovated in phases into a modern centre capable of holding regional and international matches. The completion of the first phase of the project resulted in the full restoration of the pitch, which became possible thanks to the partnership with Pyunik FC. The reconstructed stadium already hosts sporting events, as well as other cultural, recreational, educational and public happenings.


This project aims to combat local river pollution and transform the area into an attractive region for locals and tourists, as well as identify the source of river-bed contamination and develop a program to control it, including through relevant landscape solutions relying on the principle of eco-perfection.



Building on the historic architecture for which Dilijan is famed, Toon Armeni has renovated a dilapidated stone home to create a modern boutique hotel. The refurbished hotel is intended to set the highest standards of historic restoration and compliment the historical fabric of the city. The design’s ethos is evidenced throughout the city and has since been emulated in other renovations that forego modern construction materials for the urban typology that Dilijan is so proud of.


Café #2 is the Tavush region’s first youth and community café, offering local teenagers valuable professional experience. Understanding the value of this kind of initiative, the young workforce has reinvested profits into similar educational and social initiatives in the city. To support this women-led one-ofa-kind social entrepreneurship project in Dilijan, a new full take-away menu has been introduced to Café #2.


The construction of VereV Rope Park has completely changed the local environment. It is an alternative and innovative solution to the development of adventure tourism in Dilijan, and has become a new social entrepreneurship model in Dilijan, preserving public green spaces and creating a new environment for active leisure lovers.

Verev Rope Park was enhanced with a new course for younger children (3 years and over) to meet the growing demand of visitors to Dilijan City Park. In the Rope Park, kids get direct exposure to the kind of nature essential to healthy childhood development, as well as physical and mental health more generally.

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Dear Visitor,

We are glad you are interested in the activities of the IDeA Foundation.

On this platform, you can learn about two-decades long thought, passion, commitment and hard work — all in pursuit of a more prosperous Armenia. The road has been long and reflections many. But we managed to achieve to a point where our work has left its mark on the lives of millions of people and we are really proud of it.

Our accomplishments are the fruit of a collective effort by hundreds of thousands of promoters and volunteers, tens of thousands of donors and supporters, hundreds of colleagues and dozens of founding partners. Together, we have shown what wonderous things can be achieved when people strive for realization of a common goal.

Allow our family, who was lucky enough to witness these remarkable achievements from the beginning, to express our sincere gratitude to numerous wonderful, caring, purposeful people and organizations that made all these achievements possible. We have the honor to present their successes and express our gratitude to them.

We have tried to present the key landmarks of our journey to a brighter Armenia, to chart the lessons learned, and some of the new approaches and initiatives they have forged — the 700 projects over the last 20 years.

We hope that learning about these works will be as pleasant for you as it is for us to tell about them.

But, more importantly, we would like to see you among those Armenians who will continue this path together with us in the future.

If a single community of like-minded people working towards the realization of a common vision of the future can achieve such a result, imagine what kind of changes can be made if the efforts of the entire nation were directed towards creation. Together we can dream.

And, together, we can make our dreams come true.

Thank You,

Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend