On 23 September a press conference was held at the UN House to mark the upcoming collaboration between UNDP "Integrated Rural Tourism Development" project, funded by the Russian Federation, Project Management for Sustainable Development, the Foundation for European Sustainable Tourism (FEST) and the European Travel Commission (ETC), Aurora Forum and Tourism Committee of the RA Ministry of Economy.

This joint effort is for organizing for the first time in Armenia the internationally acclaimed high-level event ‘’Summer School in Leadership and Governance for Sustainable Tourism’’ in Yerevan and Dilijan from 18-21 October 2019.

The event was addressed by Dmitry Mariyasin, UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia,  Alfred Kocharyan, Deputy Chairperson of the Tourism Committee, RA Ministry of Economy, Silvia Barbone, Director JLAG and FEST, Rob Holmes, Founder & Chief Strategist of GLP Film. 

Upcoming Summer School will address one of the most important topics in the tourism industry: how to plan and improve sustainable tourism projects' success and monitor the benefits of funded initiatives. 

The theme in Armenia is “SUCCESS in Tourism” accompanied with master classes by the international experts for sustainable tourism covering topics: digital innovation, food tourism, destination management, marketing and branding, storytelling.

The event is more acknowledgeable due to the partnership with the inaugural Aurora Forum that will bring together the world’s leading authorities on social, scientific-technological, educational, and humanitarian innovation, marking the first program of its kind in the region. The forum is powered by partner institutions with a shared vision, providing an opportunity for thought leaders to compare best practices, lessons learned and, in some cases, disruptive thinking around issues ranging from infrastructure challenges to healthcare breakthroughs to women’s empowerment.

During the two days of trainings participants will discuss topics like sustainability, best tourism practices, branding, digital innovation and other related subjects. They will also have guest speakers and time for networking. On the fourth day they will have sight visit to Tatev Monastery in Syunik region.

It is important to mention, that UNDP IRTD project first time in Armenia introduced the “Project Management for Sustainable Development” - PM4SD course for practitioners, decision-makers and professionals of the tourism sector. As a result, 37 participants completed the course out of which 13 are certified as PM4SD Foundation Level and 6 PM4SD Practitioner level. They became professional trainers for the tourism sector.

The inauguration of the graduates took place after the press conference.

Silvia Barbone and Rob Holmes are in Armenia to meet the counterparts to support with the organization of the upcoming event in October.

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