Areni, 17 April 2019 - The official opening ceremony of Gastro Yard took place in the village of Areni in Vayots Dzor region. The event was organized in the framework of Integrated Rural Tourism Development (IRTD) project, funded by the Russian Federation and implemented by UNDP in Armenia, in close partnership with the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development.
The event was attended by Suren Papikyan, RoA Minister of Territorial Administration and Development, Aleksey Sinegubov, Minister-Counselor of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Armenia, and Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.
Gastro Yard concept implementation plan started back in 2018, when Yards were opened in Tavush and Aragatsotn regions. These are unique touristic destinations which aim to promote rural local hospitality, authentic food and beverages. Tourists will have chance to get to know local culture, people and history of Armenia.
Minister Papikyan in his opening speech thanked the Government of the Russian Federation and UNDP for implementation of the concept of infrastructure development in rural communities of Armenia. He noted that the creation of the Gastro Yard in Areni can become a major precedent for other communities of Armenia. “We are interested in the prospect of tourism development in rural communities of Armenia and the development of culture of Gastro Yards is an excellent opportunity for making it happen. Presenting the colorful everyday life of rural communities from such an angle can become an additional impetus, so that our communities become more attractive, visible and, of course, interesting for residents and tourists,” the Minister said.
“I hope, that this place will become one of the most favorite places for tourists, where they can feel the Armenian spirit and culture,’’ said Aleksey Sinegubov, Minister-Counselor of the Embassy of the Russian Federation to Armenia.
“I am very delighted to announce the opening of Gastro Yard today. I am sure that here tourists will enjoy Armenian authentic food, get to know local people, culture and will be back for new memories and adventures. One of the most important objectives of Gastro Yard is to create a local culture in communities and inspire other local fellows to make tourism an income generating opportunity,” said Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.
The IRTD project offers an intervention strategy for the development of rural tourism in Armenia with the objective of creating 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.
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations UNDP in Armenia was established in March 1993 and supports the government in meeting its development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals.