English courses to harness the tourism potential of Tavush, Lori and Shirak regions

To attract tourists, it is not enough to showcase the beauty of nature, the history and the culture of the country. If you don’t speak the tourist’s language, he won’t be able to understand you. Knowledge of a foreign language is essential for employees of hotels, guest houses, cafes and restaurants, tourist information centers.

Therefore, the British Council in Armenia, in cooperation with the EU and the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), agreed to offer free English courses to representatives of the tourism industry from the three regions. from northern Armenia – Tavush, Lori and Shirak.

The English courses are organized within the framework of the EU4Business project “Innovative development of tourism and technology for Armenia”, which is co-funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the German Ministry of Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ).

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Wilhelm Hugo, team leader of the EU4Business project “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia (ITTD)”

Photo: Mediamax

Mediamax attended the project launch event in Dilijan, Tavush region, which, along with the guests in attendance, was joined by video link by representatives from other regions and trainers.

“I am very happy to be here, because the project combines two areas that are very dear to me: education and tourism,” said the Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Armenia John Gallagher.

“Armenia is a hidden cozy corner of the world. More people should now be talking about this wonderful country. I am happy that the project brings tangible benefits to Armenia, making it more accessible to foreign tourists, thus ensuring greater tourism income for the Armenian economy. Armenia is transitioning to a forward-looking economic model; thus, tourism will have a greater role to play in providing sustainable economic income for the country, ”said the Ambassador.

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John gallagher

Photo: Mediamax

He stressed that the Armenian representatives of the tourism sector, acquiring the required language skills, will be able to establish contacts with partners and foreign tourists, which will have a positive impact on their activities.

“Tourism is successful when the host country is able to communicate in a language that tourists speak,” said Frank Hess, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation in Armenia.

“There are three languages ​​that are used most often in the EU. I am German and my mother tongue is the third most used language in the EU. I used to teach French, which is the second language. As you know, English is still the most spoken language in the EU despite Brexit, and the majority of tourists still communicate in this language, ”he said.

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Frank hess

Photo: Mediamax

Frank Hess mentioned that the northern regions of Armenia and the country in general have great potential for growth. And in the context of the country, this potential is particularly strong in the IT sector, while the northern regions mentioned can experience substantial progress thanks to tourism.

“The aim of English courses is to attract more tourists to Armenia and thereby improve the standard of living of the inhabitants of the country,” said the national director of the office of the German Agency for International Cooperation ( GIZ) in Armenia, Madeleine Rauschenberger.

In addition to language courses, GIZ also implements a number of other projects in the mentioned regions, supporting the promotion of small businesses.

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Madeleine Rauschenberger

Photo: Mediamax

“Our goal in the tourism sector is to improve the supply side, thanks to which it will be possible to attract more tourists to Armenia, thus providing more jobs. I fully agree, that Armenia has great potential in tourism, and it is a great privilege for us to support the industry. Since June 2020, with the support of the EU, we have successfully provided coronavirus-related assistance to 35 economic entities engaged in tourism, under various subsidy programs, thus saving around 100 jobs ”, declared Madeleine Rauschenberger.

She stressed the importance of cooperation with RA Tourism Committee, in which activities are carried out to market and promote the image of the tourism sector in Armenia.

“All these activities are aimed at achieving very ambitious goals, namely to make the tourism sector in Armenia more sustainable, more profitable and to encourage more people to visit Armenia. Since the growth in arrivals of foreign tourists is expected, our cooperation with the British Council was therefore highly anticipated, in which representatives of the tourism industry from the three regions of northern Armenia will study English. . I am happy that, thanks to our cooperation, 140 representatives of the tourism sector have the opportunity to participate in the courses. Knowledge of languages ​​helps build cultural bridges, and with a good command of foreign languages, industry representatives will be able to better understand what interests visiting tourists most, what they would like to see and find. Armenia, ”the country GIZ said. Office manager.

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Madeleine Rauschenberger and John Gallagher

Photo: Mediamax

Gayane Ayvazyan, Advisor to the Tourism Committee attached great importance to language courses with a view to making tourism proposals more attractive.

“Today more than ever, the tourism sector needs to strengthen itself, diversify offers, strengthen the capacities of industry representatives and promote innovative ideas. This program will give the opportunity to make tourist proposals more attractive, to provide high quality services and to acquire competitive advantages ”. she mentioned

English courses are organized by the British Council Office in Armenia and will take place online. Classes will start from January 2022.

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Gayane Ayvazyan

Photo: Mediamax

“The British Council has a long history of delivering English courses, and this is one of the key areas of our business. I am very happy that we have the opportunity to work with representatives of the tourism sector from the three regions. Before the COVID19 outbreak, Armenia was becoming an increasingly attractive tourist destination. Thus, COVID19 has given time for tourism companies to improve infrastructure, language skills, prepare to welcome more foreign visitors, ”said Arevik Saribekyan, director of the British Council in Armenia.

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Arevik Saribekyan

Photo: Mediamax

According to her, 150 people have already registered to participate in the English classes, and this shows that the classes are in high demand. After certain selection procedures, 140 participants will be registered.

Gurgen Harutyunyan, head of the tourism and development programs department of the Tavush Regional Administration, is among those who have registered to attend the courses.

“Right now all I can say in English is ‘hi’ so if I am elected as a participant in the project you will be able to follow my progress,” said Gurgen Harutyunyan.

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Gurgen Harutyunyan

Photo: Mediamax

He mentioned that tourism is one of the priority areas for the development of Tavush region, and in this context, it is very important to improve the education level of industry representatives.

“Over the years, with funding from the EU and GIZ, targeted investments and programs have been implemented in Tavush as well as other regions of Armenia. And this initiative is a logical continuation of the mentioned programs, ”said Gurgen Harutyunyan.

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Arevik Saribekyan

Photo: Mediamax

As part of the courses, it is planned to focus on improving skills in oral communication, listening comprehension, reading, writing, grammar. People with different levels of English knowledge can join the courses. The participants will be divided into groups according to the level of knowledge.

Yana Shakramanyan

Photos by Emin Aristakesyan

Sylvester L. Goldfarb