My Armenia Cultural Sustainability Program

Cultural Heritage Tourism Development in Armenia

  • Client: United States Agency for International Development
  • Partners: Smithsonian Institution
  • Project Duration: August 2015 - Present

Project Description

‘My Armenia,’ a joint partnership between USAID, the Smithsonian Institution, and Solimar International, harnesses the power of research, planning, documentation, and technical development to strengthen tourism in rural areas of Armenia. The ‘My Armenia’ program engages with local partners to increase and share knowledge about Armenian cultural heritage while identifying opportunities to enhance and increase tourism to rural Armenia.

The program has recently completed a tourism planning and asset mapping phase that outlined the investment and development plan for the program. The program is now starting implementation based on four program pillars, 1. Tourism experience development focused on tourism hubs along southern and northern routes, to help develop a more engaging tourism experience that can keep people in these areas for longer. 2. Skill development linked to these tourism experiences, to improve the quality of serve and operational capacity. 3 Building greater awareness about Armenia as a travel destination. 4. Partnerships to help leverage investment and donor resources in collaboration with the program.

The ultimate goal of the program is to strengthen or establish tourism experiences and reach greater tourism markets with the message of tourism in Armenia. Through this we hope to demonstrate a replicable model for natural and cultural sustainability based on deep scientific research with a connection to financial sustainability for the practitioners of cultural practices and managers of natural assets.

Major Activities

  • Strengthen Armenia’s natural and cultural heritage tourism experiences – work with local residents to enhance the tourism experience along strategic tourism routes in the north and south to sustain Armenia’s natural and cultural heritage
  • Improve natural and cultural heritage tourism sector workforce skills – enhance the skills of Armenian’s to work in tourism and to sustain cultural practices to improve the lives of Armenian’s in rural areas
  • Increase awareness of Armenia as a natural and cultural heritage tourism destination – Tell the story of Armenia to a broader audience and in a more engaging way so that more people are aware of Armenia as a travel destination
  • Synchronize efforts within the natural and cultural heritage tourism sector – Engage and leverage partners behind a stronger cultural heritage tourism economy in Armenia so that everyone is working toward a common goal.

Anticipated Results

  • Increased visitation to Armenia, and specifically target areas outside of the capital (Yerevan)
  • Increased revenue to the tourism sites, attractions and businesses within Armenia, and specifically areas outside of the capital (Yerevan)
  • Enhance the skills of tourism practitioners within Armenia
  • Strengthen the management practices of tourism sites, attractions and businesses in Armenia
  • Increased partnership, cooperation and coordination among tourism stakeholders in Armenia
  • Enhance business linkages with international tourism markets
  • Build greater awareness about Armenia as a travel destination internationally


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Leila Calnan, Senior Manager, Tourism Services Cardno Emerging Markets

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