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Third Annual Ecotourism Conference Builds on Past Success

YEREVAN, Armenia ‒ On April,  2018, the American University of Armenia (AUA) hosted the Third Annual Conference on Ecotourism in Armenia organized by the AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (ACE). Aiming to promote ecotourism in Armenia, the conference provides a platform to urban and rural entrepreneurs and stakeholders to develop their network and exchange ideas and best practices.

This year the AUA Ecotourism Conference brought together representatives of more than 100 organizations and communities from all regions of Armenia and Artsakh. There were approximately 700 participants.

AUA President Dr. Armen Der Kiureghian and Director of the AUA ACE Alen Amirkhanian welcomed the conference participants and attendees at AUA. In his speech, Amirkhanian mentioned the principles that the ACE follows and why ecotourism is important for Armenia. He also emphasized the role of the local community in the development of ecotourism and how the latter impacts the development of the community.

The RA Deputy Minister of Nature Protection, Khachik Hakobyan, the Deputy Chair of the RA State Tourism Committee, Mekhak Apresyan, and the Head of the Department of Tourism at the Ministry of Culture, Youth Affairs and Tourism of the Republic of Artsakh, Artak Grigoryan, made opening remarks. Hakobyan noted, “We consider the AUA Conference on Ecotourism in Armenia the best platform to report on what has been done from one conference to another, and to present the plans for the current year.”  

The panel discussions of the conference covered a wide range of topics including national policy and regional efforts to advance ecotourism; protected areas, natural monuments, and ecotourism development; local readiness to host ecotourists; local, small-scale wine production and organic food in ecotourism; outdoor activities and adventure tourism including hiking, paragliding, rock climbing, skiing, biking, and horseback riding; social enterprises, impact investment, and ecotourism; as well as digital platforms and digital marketing of Armenia’s ecotourism offerings

In conjunction with the conference, an Ecotourism Expo was held and during the whole day more than 40 organizations had the opportunity to present their tourism expeditions, organic food and health products, local wines, digital platforms, hiking and rock climbing equipment and mountain bikes, as well as tourism development services and grants.

Learn more about the conference here.

The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (AUA ACE) is a research center of the American University of Armenia. AUA ACE promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. AUA ACE’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity and conservation, greening the built environment, clean energy and energy efficiency, as well as information technology and the environment.