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Ecological safety as a crucial condition for tourism sustainable development

On November 16, on the initiative of Yerevan Aarhus Center with the support of the Ministry of Nature Protection of the RA a seminar-discussion entitled “Ecological safety as a crucial condition for tourism sustainable development” was held at Yerevan Aarhus Center, which was attended by students of “Tourism administration”educational program of the Public Administration Academy of the RA and the YSU faculty of Geology and geography as well as volunteers of Yerevan Aarhus Center.
Anna Arakelyan, head of the “Tourism administration” educational program of the Public Administration

Academy of the RA, in her welcoming remark highlighted the importance of meetings in such formats as students’ motivation and for promotion of tourism in Armenia, especially in the field of ecotourism.

The number of tourists visiting Armenia for ecotourism is growing: in 2015 their number was 2054, in 2016 was 2110 and in 2017 it will be over 3000.

Considering ecotourism as a key element in tourism development, Vahagn Sargsyan, specialist of Ecotourism Support and Development Division of Bio resources Management Agency of the Ministry of Nature Protection informed participants that the Ministry of Nature Protection has adopted a tourism development policy, currently the concept of ecotourism is being developed and in 2018 the Ecotourism Information Center will officially open its doors.

Enumerating the diversity of tourist routes and services (bird watching, monitoring of animals listed in the Red Book, horseback riding, sailing, mountain climbing, etc.) organized in specially protected natural areas, the speaker highlighted that the development of the sector will also promote raising the level of public awareness on ecological education, natural environment, natural and historical-cultural monuments.

The next topic of the seminar-discussion was devoted to the development of tourism in Armenia in the context of current environmental challenges. It was presented to the audience by Mari Chakryan, president of “Public Awareness and Monitoring Center” NGO. On specific examples, the attendees were informed about the environmental issues which are incompatible with the development of tourism. As a tool for solving the problem, Mari Chakryan presented the Aarhus Convention, pointing out that it gives the right to know, to participate and to change.

The latter called on the future professionals and decision makers to make reasonable decisions, taking into account the priorities of environmental protection and the principles of harmonious, sustainable development.

During the event active discussions were held on a variety of issues, the participants watched a video film about the good practice of Kalavan community development.

Yerevan Aarhus Center