Building Partnerships Between North America and Armenia: Tour Operators Meet to Increase International Visits

Thursday, March 26, 2020
North American tour operators visiting the Kchuch Experience of Dolma Making in Dilijan (top), participating in hiking near Karahunj in the Syunik region (middle), and having business meetings with local tour operators for prospective partnerships (bottom).
Taguhi Sahakyan, My Armenia Program

“My expectations were honestly different before coming to Armenia, and this country absolutely surprised me. The amazing historical sites, the beautiful landscapes, and of course the food combined with genuine locals – Armenia has great potential in the tourism sector.”

 Kerry Mongomery, Finisterra Travel representative

USAID’s “My Armenia” project took advantage of Armenia’s exposure at the 2018 Smithsonian Folklife Festival to conduct business-to-business meetings for representatives of Armenia’s State Tourism Committee and Armenian tour operators and American tour operators in Boston, New York and Washington, DC.  As a result of these efforts, USAID’s “My Armenia” project hosted twelve North American tour operators from U.S. and Canadian-based tour companies on three individual visits to Armenia in 2019. 

“My Armenia” supports inclusive economic growth and the sustainability of Armenia’s cultural heritage through the development of a dynamic tourism sector that engages and benefits Armenian communities across the country. The project incorporates experiential tourism opportunities in order to transform tangible and intangible cultural assets into an economic benefit for communities outside of the capital, Yerevan.

The purpose of the visits was to acquaint the North American tour operators with Armenian tourism experiences and products, and establish relationships with Armenian tour companies, in order to facilitate future international tourism.

The visitors travelled to the five regions in Armenia where “My Armenia”  works and participated in cultural experiences such as master classes on crafts, cooking, and hiking, and discussed the development of tour packages with Armenian tour operators and hotel representatives. One of the three tours also included visits to religious sites in order to determine whether Armenia offers enough tourism options that could make it attractive as a religious tourism destination for North American visitors.

By supporting targeted visits to introduce the world to Armenia’s breadth of cultural, natural, and historical resources, USAID is helping build partnerships between the Armenian and North American people and their tour industries. As a result of the “My Armenia” project, communities in the regions are benefiting from the increase in tourism to Armenia. 

Last updated: September 11, 2020

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