On September 5th, the Government of Armenia, the Russian Federation, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Armenia, SME Development National Center of Armenia and local partners marked the official opening of the new Scientific and Adventure Tourism Center in Kalavan community of Gegharkunik region.

The Center will help advance community’s economic development and effective management of eco-tourism. Deputy Minister of Territorial Administration and Infrastructure Lilia Shushanyan, Deputy Minister of Economy Naira Margaryan, Chairperson of the NA Standing Committee on Territorial Administration, Local Self-Government, Agriculture and Environment Varazdat Karapetyan, USAID Armenia Mission Director Deborah Grieser, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia Dmitry Mariyasin, Counselor of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Armenia Dmitry Stepanov, Chairperson of the State Tourism Committee Susanna Safaryan, Governor of Gegharkunik region Gnel Sanosyan, and representatives of partner organizations and the local community were in attendance.

The new Scientific and Adventure Tourism Center is established in Kalavan through the joint efforts of the Kalavan Time Land Foundation, UNDP Integrated Rural Tourism Development project, funded by the Russian Federation, and the SME DNC Partnerships for Rural Prosperity project funded by USAID. The Scientific and Adventure Tourism Center will have its solid niche in Armenia’s tourism market while offering new jobs for local families and allowing them to improve their livelihoods. Tourists will have the opportunity to stay in tents, enjoy nature, conduct business meetings and training programs inside the center. This will contribute to the development of the local infrastructure in Gegharkunik and will help boost rural tourism in the remote areas of the region.

At the opening event, the participants noted that: “Rural economic development and tourism can both be transformative for Armenia’s long-term development and economic resilience. Thanks to the unique design and activities of this center, it will turn into a new attraction and demonstration hub for Armenian visitors. Viable communities are the foundation of a country’s stability and security, and we appreciate the donors strive to support Armenia’s development.  Our shared goal is to help Armenia improve the public and private sector environment through better services, new jobs, and revenue generation to drive local growth.” 

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