The new training program empowers the travel, wine, and hospitality industries in Armenia to contribute to wine tourism
Yerevan, Armenia, 5 April 2022 – The Sea of Wine project has launched an intensive capacity-building program for over 130 representatives of travel, wine, and hospitality industries in Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, and Greece to equip them with knowledge and skills in wine tourism.
The training program, which commenced with a focus group discussion in late January, targeted representatives of the travel, wine, and hospitality industries in the project countries and provided them with a broad understanding of the global wine tourism sector and best practices in creating effective tourism solutions and services. The participants gained knowledge and skills to maximize the potential of this industry for their business.
These sessions build on the Sea of Wine project’s commitment to promoting Armenia and the Black Sea region as wine tourism destinations. The Armenian wine sector makes a significant contribution to the Armenian economy. This includes the economic activity associated with grape-growing in vineyards and wine production and extends to the economic activity from wine-related tourism. Thus, well-trained and competent tour guides and hospitality representatives will indirectly contribute to the country’s economic growth.
The online sessions were led by Zara Zeitountsian, Program Director of Graduate Certificate in Hotel and Hospitality at the American University of Armenia.
“Wine has been an essential part of our culture and we need to put Armenia on the world map as a wine destination, thus, I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk about wine tourism to professionals in the field. I think training like this fosters a deeper understanding of the tourism business, encourages an institutional approach to the wine business, and teaches how to properly promote not only a small business but Armenia as e destination. I hope the participants learned these approaches and will apply the knowledge and the know-how to take wine tourism to the next level,” said Zara Zeitountsian.
The participants learned how to develop and promote their products and services, thus promoting Armenia as a wine country and the Black Sea region as the Historic World of Wine. Upon completion, they were awarded certificates.
Margarita Terzyan, a training participant, said: “The course allowed us to reconsider and recognize the potential and mission of wine tourism as well as understand how much we as wineries, government, tour agencies, and travelers still must do in this regard. The training also confirmed the idea that Armenia must be promoted and presented as a winemaking country rather than as a country with scattered small wineries.”
Sirarpi Asatrian, as a beginner tour guide, believes the training was very useful and brought together wine producers and tourism representatives “which can effectively influence the further development of wine and tourism marketing.”
The Sea of Wine project is co-implemented in 2020-2022 by The ICARE Foundation, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Georgian Center for Agribusiness Development, and Odessa National Academy of Food Technologies through the Joint Operational Programme Black Sea Basin 2014-2020 funded by the European Neighbourhood Instrument in close collaboration with the Joint Technical Secretariat.