Integrated Rural Tourism Development

House in Urasar community, Lori region

What we do

Integrated Rural Tourism Development (IRTD) project is funded by the Russian Federation and implemented by UNDP in Armenia, in close partnership with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development.

The objective of the project is to offer intervention strategy for the development of rural tourism in Armenia in order to create 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. The project aims to implement projects in 60 rural areas in all RA regions to:

·        Raise the accessibility and sustainable utilization of tourism assets of the communities;

·        Support the communities to thrive as a tourism destination by diversification of services and developing high quality products;

·        Ensure the sustainability of the rural tourism through establishing basic destination management mechanisms;

·        Shape the identity of the communities as a destination of rural tourism and market it locally and internationally.

Some results so far

·        Inventory of touristic resources in all villages of Armenia (more than 925 villages);

·        Selection of 8 targeted villages (52 yet to be selected);

·        Establishment of Bridge Network: a network of private companies in the tourism industry that enables the participants to facilitate open dialogue and discuss priorities and approaches to rural tourism development (number of companies: more than 60);

·        Implementation of pro-business oriented intervention projects such as "Innovation Challenge Armenia": a collaboration model with the Private Sector (3 current projects);

·        Bjni fortress museum concept and design development;

·        ‘’Youth Career Trail’’ project implementation, where more than 25 young professionals were recruited;

·        Development and implementation of R&D centers (Tavush, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Gavar);

·        Development of 2 DMO concepts;

·        Cooperation with Russian media to promote Armenia as a touristic destination (TTG Russia, TourBus).