Tag Archives: dilijan

ARS_8974On 17 August, the first Tourist Information Centre (TIC) was opened in Dilijan, Tavush marz, as part of the “Dilijan and Adjacent Communities Development Initiative” project. The project is implemented by the Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA) Foundation, DIS Properties Charity Foundation, the Dilijan Municipality, and Dilijan National Park. It is funded by the EU and the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Development of Armenia through the Pilot Regional Development Programme (PRDP). TIC will offer comprehensive information to tourists and guests visiting Dilijan and Tavush marz. One of the key objectives of the centre is to boost the tourist attractiveness of Dilijan National Park and the adjacent areas, and to become a major platform for coordinating all tourism- and recreation-related events in the marz. The centre has given 6 people the opportunity to find a job.

ARS_9020Hoa-Binh Adjemian, the Head of the Cooperation section of the EU Delegation in Armenia, welcomed guests to TIC and congratulated the community: ‘The European Union is supporting the government to promote more balanced social and economic development in the regions of Armenia through creating new jobs and increasing economic competitiveness. This project is interesting for many reasons. It reflects EU support in Armenia and builds potential in Tavush marz. It marks the start of cooperation with the IDeA Foundation – the foundation, which has done a great job’.

ARS_9045Rafi Baghdjian, CEO of the IDeA Foundation, praised EU support: ‘IDeA Foundation is implementing various types of projects in Dilijan to transform the city and the region into a leading cultural, education, healthcare, and tourist hub. The establishment of the TIC with EU co-funding, as well as the renovation of the city park, start to create infrastructure necessary for Dilijan to morph into the “Davos in the Caucasus”, where tourists from various countries will be offered high-quality services’.

ARS_8946This two-year grant project aims to boost the tourist attractiveness of Dilijan and adjacent communities, thus boosting local economies. At least 330 people and 120 enterprises will benefit. Capacity-building help them develop tourism and hospitality in Dilijan and the wider marz, as well as lessen unemployment. 50 direct employment opportunities will be created through the project, allowing Dilijan City Market, Agro Pavilion, and the Arts and Crafts Centre to cater to both locals and visitors alike. The project will provide grant support of up to €5,000 to third parties. Beneficiaries will be enterprises willing to create additional employment opportunities for residents of Dilijan and adjacent communities. The total project budget is €1,195,000, of which the EU contribution is €780,000.

Europe Day celebrations reached the Armenian marzes after having been officially launched in Yerevan. The first stop of regional celebrations were in Gyumri (Shirak marz), Vanadzor (Lori marz), and Dilijan (Tavush marz).

Gyumri was the first city to host events on 12 May. In the morning, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, held a meeting with the Mayor of Gyumri, Samvel Balasanyan.

11After the meeting, Theatre Square opened Europe Day celebrations with an Information Fair. More than 20 stalls presented EU-funded projects, covering topics such as the environment, agriculture, business, investment, civil society, education, innovation, human rights, and youth. Visitors had the opportunity to tour the booths and learn about the programmes – there was a special booth for children to draw, as well as musical accompaniment from a DJ.

1After touring the booths, the Ambassador addressed the crowd and informed them about future plans: ‘We have a solid tradition of starting regional Europe Day celebrations in Gyumri, which makes me glad. Altogether we, the EU, have contributed more than €500 million to the development of Armenia. One of our priorities is to bring more projects to Gyumri and the rest of Shirak marz, to be more present and engaged here. We want the citizens of Gyumri to benefit more from the European Union’s activities in Armenia’.

Children from the Gyumri music schools performed the Anthem of Europe to open the Europe Day concert, which included special guests Hayk Petrosyan and Masha Mnjoyan. A wide variety of people gathered in front of the stage to sing and dance alongside their favourite performers.

Vanadzor was the next city to join in the celebrations of peace and unity on 13 May. As in Gyumri, Ambassador Świtalski met with Mamikon Aslanyan, the Mayor of Vanadzor in morning, before an Information Fair on Hayq Square.

2This time more than 10 EU-funded projects focusing on agriculture, business, civil society, education and innovation were presented, giving visitors a chance to learn more about the EU and its assistance, and to feel closer to this engagement with the wider European family. Children were particularly drawn to the drawing tent, while adult and teenage residents enjoyed the ambient music of a local DJ and the good weather while browsing the stalls.

ARS_8279Ambassador Świtalski addressed the crowd after visiting the booths, highlighting the importance of Vanadzor: ‘Vanadzor is very important to the EU – the city is well known not only for its beauty but also for its very talented and dynamic youth. The EU is the biggest donor in Armenia, together with our member states we provide more than 50% of all international support to Armenia. We want more to work in the Armenian marzes, in cities like Vanadzor. We want to continue to support infrastructure, the development of tourism, and small business’.

22Children from the Eduard Kzartmyan music school in Vanadzor performed the Anthem of Europe, paving the way for guests Hayk Petrosyan and Masha Mnjoyan, whose music was greatly enjoyed by an audience that sang and danced along until the end.


The final stop of the week was Dilijan, on 14 May. This is the first time Dilijan has hosted Europe Day celebrations. Ambassador Świtalski and the Mayor of Dilijan, Armen Santrosyan first met with members of the Dilijan Euroclub. Despite the heavy rain, people still flocked to visit more than 15 booths on EU-funded projects, covering agriculture, business, civil society, education, human rights and innovation.

ARS_8789The Ambassador congratulated citizens of Dilijan for their first participation at Europe Day before the concert began: ‘I want to thank all our partners in this beautiful town for helping to organise this wonderful event. I am here with a large team from the EU Delegation, it is a pleasure for us to celebrate peace and unity with you. This year our celebrations are entitled ‘The European Union for Armenia’ – I am happy that the EU is sponsoring projects in Dilijan and in Tavush marz. I want to use this opportunity to let you know that we want to come more often and do bigger projects in Dilijan. There is no age discrimination, but we want to focus on young people. I want to thank all young people for coming and developing a good association with the EU. Enjoy the evening and remember that we are here for you and for the modernisation of Armenia’.

3Children from Dilijan music schools also performed the Anthem of Europe and passed the stage to Hayk Petorsyan and Masha Mnjoyan. The weather had cleared by the time the concert began so the audience were able to let loose!

“Dilijan Orran”, an Armenian cultural, art and culinary centre, opened its doors on 15 July. The centre was established by the EU-funded “Further development and sustainability of tourism contribution to poverty alleviation in the regions of Armenia” project. This project creates employment opportunities in Tavush marz, with a particular focus on women, in the tourism industry. The project applies a creative approach to opening up the socio-economic potential of Tavush through promoting and selling traditional crafts and products. The project is being implemented by the SOSE NGO.
Monica Papyan, representative of the EU Delegation to Armenia, gave a speech at Dilijan Orran: ‘This type of cooperation has existed for several years, and the Lori Orran centre in Lori marz offers an example of this project’s success. I am sure this centre will have the same experience. By using the potential and knowledge of locals, businessmen can create promote their businesses and provide more economic growth in these communities. This is not only a business initiative, but also a cultural and historical project’.
Director/Project Manager Nelli Sedrakyan stressed the centre’s potential to create employment opportunities for local residents: ‘At this stage, more than 20 local residents can either be employed by businesses that operate in this centre, or can establish and run their own businesses from the centre. The provision of goods and services from the centre gives residents the opportunity to use their skills and are provide needed tourism goods and services. The centre provides the necessary space or conditions for this which residents lack at home. Another advantage of the centre is that the services are provided from one centralised location, which increases the chances of these goods and services being used’.
Representatives of travel agencies, tour operators, and international organisations were shown around the centre and were acquainted with the goods and services provided by the trained local residents of Tavush marz, tasting homemade drinks and food. At the end of the event the guests were introduced to Armenian wedding traditions and were taught elements of Armenian dances; they even had the opportunity for role play and dance in a group wedding dance.
This opening ceremony allowed residents and centre personnel to demonstrate the skills and services they had learned through training provided by the project.