A Silk Road for tourists | EUNewsletter

A Silk Road for tourists

29 July 2013
NRK_7309

The trans-regional EU-funded “Black Sea Silk Road Corridor” (BSSRC) project was officially launched at the Noravank Monastery in Vayots Dzor region, Armenia, on 16 July 2013.
BSSRC is a joint project between NGO partners in Georgia, Greece, Turkey, and Armenia to create a 3000 kilometre-long tourist trail stretching from Thessalonica, Greece, to Meghri, Armenia.
Event participants, whoincluded theU.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Heffern, and representatives from Georgian, Greece and Turkish NGO partners, as well as representatives from the Armenian Ministries of Culture, Economy, Transport and Communication, watched performances by dancers and musicians from the villages of Areni and Shatin, and took part in a bread and salt ceremony.
BSSRC is a two-year initiative which will foster the development of tourism in 173 communities across four countries.

‘The model for this project is “common borders, common solutions”, which means bringing the four countries and four peoples together. This project is not only about tourism and economic development, it is also about recreating some of the history of this incredibly rich region,’ said Heffern. He recalled the statement of an Armenian historian who noted the ancient importance of the Silk Road, and stated that rebuilding it was an historic event.

43 Armenian cultural, historical and natural sites will be marked with directional signs, information panels, trail markers, and walking tour plaques, which will provide multilingual content about the sites. A web portal will also be created to offer virtual trails, along with five smartphone applications integrated in to social media.

‘I am sure that modern technology, especially smart phone applications, will allow people who have never been to Noravank and Vayots Dzor to visit the region,’ said the Vayots Dzor administrative union head, Edgar Ghazaryan, who also expressed that hope that Turkish partners would be able to visit Armenia without having a closed border as a result of the project.

The project is expected to alleviate rural isolation through the development of local communities, the enhancement of visitors’ experiences, and the protection of cultural monuments and biodiversity.

BSSRC is funded by the EU through its Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme, with co-financing for Armenia from the U.S. Agency for International Development through its “Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness” project.

The “Armenian Monuments Awareness Project” Cultural NGO is the lead beneficiary of the project in Armenia.

A Silk Road for tourists

The trans-regional EU-funded “Black Sea Silk Road Corridor” (BSSRC) project was officially launched at the Noravank Monastery in Vayots Dzor region, Armenia, on 16 July 2013. BSSRC is a joint project between NGO partners in Georgia, Greece, Turkey, and Armenia to create a 3000 kilometre-long tourist trail stretching from Thessalonica, Greece, to Meghri, Armenia. Event participants, whoincluded theU.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Heffern, and representatives from Georgian, Greece and Turkish NGO partners, as well as representatives from the Armenian Ministries of Culture, Economy, Transport and Communication, watched performances by dancers and musicians from the villages of Areni and Shatin, and took part in a bread and salt ceremony. BSSRC is a two-year initiative which will foster the development of tourism in 173 communities across four countries. ‘The model for this project is “common borders, common solutions”, which means bringing the four countries and four peoples together. This project is not only about tourism and economic development, it is also about recreating some of the history of this incredibly rich region,’ said Heffern. He recalled the statement of an Armenian historian who noted the ancient importance of the Silk Road, and stated that rebuilding it was an historic event. 43 Armenian cultural, historical and natural sites will be marked with directional signs, information panels, trail markers, and walking tour plaques, which will provide multilingual content about the sites. A web portal will also be created to offer virtual trails, along with five smartphone applications integrated in to social media. ‘I am sure that modern technology, especially smart phone applications, will allow people who have never been to Noravank and Vayots Dzor to visit the region,’ said the Vayots Dzor administrative union head, Edgar Ghazaryan, who also expressed that hope that Turkish partners would be able to visit Armenia without having a closed border as a result of the project. The project is expected to alleviate rural isolation through the development of local communities, the enhancement of visitors’ experiences, and the protection of cultural monuments and biodiversity. BSSRC is funded by the EU through its Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme, with co-financing for Armenia from the U.S. Agency for International Development through its “Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness” project. The “Armenian Monuments Awareness Project” Cultural NGO is the lead beneficiary of the project in Armenia.