Ride Your Bike
May 16, 2016
The project, funded by the European Union within the Eastern Partnership Territorial Cooperation Programme (EaPTC), aims at bringing together bikers and bicycle lovers from Armenia and Georgia together with “NGO Center” in Vanadzor and its Georgian partner “Center for Caucasus Tourism Georgia”. In the frames of the initiative, camping bases will also be established and the bikers will have all the necessary information and guidance with the help of maps, booklets...
|Title of the action:||Biking and rural combined cross-border tourism, as innovative approach for promoting cross-border cooperation|
|Location(s) of the action:|
Region (Marz) of Lori and Tavush, Armenia
Region of Samtskhe-Javakheti, Georgia
|Total duration||17 months|
|EU financing||249988 EUR|
|Name of the applicant||NGO “Center” Civil Society Development Organization, Armenia |
International Center for CaucasusTourism, Georgia
Dilnet Service Educational NGO, Armenia
Women's and children's rights-of-support” Union, Georgia
Applicant’s contact details
|Postal address:||Nzhdeh 9/2a, 2001, Vanadzor, Armenia|
+374 322 4 33 15 (fixed)
+374 91 64 33 17 (mobile)
|Fax number:||+374 322 4 33 17|
|Contact person for this action:||Arpine Hakobyan|
|Contact person’s email:|
|Address:||Leningradyan 3/19,Vanadzor, Armenia|
|Website of the Organisation:|
|Objectives of the action|
Overall objective: To contribute to the development of biking and rural combined cross-border tourism between Armenia and Georgia;
- Support application of combined biking and rural tourism tour packages;
- Strengthening of infrastructure necessary for the implementation of tour packages;
- Enhancement of communication and partnership between major role-players in tourism development.
|Target group(s)||a) Touristic agencies; b) Tourists; c) Tourism chain units; d) Tourism chain units of the region: e) Local communities|
|Final beneficiaries||Lori and Tavush regions (marzes) of Armenia and Samtskhe-Javakheti region of Georgia as well as the populations of Armenia and Georgia overall.|
- Profile for tourists using biking, rural tourism services formed; touristic behaviour, preferences identified, with new avenues for the development of this kind of tourism;
- 3 cross-border rural, biking tour packages are formed, piloted, marketed;
- 2 camping bases established in Armenia, Georgia providing services like bike repair, bike rent, etc.; Rural tourism activities offered by local farmers; The quality of services offered by touristic units engaged in the new tours is highly improved by local hosts and farmers;
- English, Russian Tourism short vocabularies are formed;
- Joint conference on “Perspectives of biking and rural cross-border tourism development” held;
- Booklet, guide and maps on cross-border BRT information published (overall 100 copies per country) and disseminated; A joint online information platform launched;
- Memoranda of Understanding between touristic agencies in both countries signed.
- Research on “Preferences and touristic behaviour trends of bicycle traveller in rural areas” and on “ Tourism Potential and Data Base creation for every village in cross-border regions” through youth volunteers involvement;
- Website design based on research results;
- Development of 3 tour packages of combined biking and rural tourism, marketing of those; Establishing two camping bases, including infrastructures;
- Engagement of farmers in rural tourism; Training of service personnel for new tours;
- Joint conference on «Perspectives of biking and rural cross-border tourism development»;
- Piloting of the new tours through two 4 day long tours;
- Joint online information and resource sharing platform;
- Signing of MOUs between the touristic agencies of Armenia and Georgia;
- Seminar on “Biking and Rural Tourism for International synergy relationship and enhancement of tourism potential of the cross-border regions”;
- Creation of Facebook page:“Armenia and Georgia for Biking and Rural Tourism Synthesis”.
The role of partners
The role of NGO Center as a leading organisation is to ensure smooth implementation of the project overall. It has a responsibility to coordinate communication, administration and management of the project. Also, NGO Center will have a major role in designing and delivering training blocks of the action. This role is assigned to NGOC based on its 20 years of experience in the field.
Dilnet Service educational NGO will have extensive involvement in tour package map development, booklet and guidebook development and publication process. Due to its excellent knowledge about the local communities and natural resources of Tavush region in Armenia, it will assist by providing information about bike routes, infrastructure and so on. The organisation is famous for its mapping experience and production of booklets.
ICCT has years of experience in tourism and rural tourism development in the region and locally. ICCT will conduct the research; it will provide training sessions in Georgia and assist by providing necessary information and data. It will also assist with maintenance of the joint online platform, creation and production of publication materials and identification of target groups in Georgia.
The associate partners will be involved in the process of camping base creation. They will assist in communication with the territorial administrations regarding permissions, request for information and other administrative aspects. These entities will also support the promotion of the action.
Sustainability of the action
This action aims to increase the role of cross-border tourism as a catalyser of the social and economic development of the region and poverty reduction by capitalising on biodiversity assets. It effectively integrates sustainability into the new tourism service development means considering environmental, social and economic, technological aspects throughout the process of developing and realising new tour packages and other touristic products. Tourism is one of the most promising drivers of growth for the economy locally and globally. The improvement of existing and creation of new environment-friendly infrastructure as well as improved services will increase the number of tourists spending active time in the region, near border rural areas. An efficient planning and management of combined cross-border tours could even further support economic growth. The development of the new cross-border biking and rural tour packages offers a way to use the biodiversity and cultural assets as potential sources of income for local residents. This will also lead to the increase of tourism related business activities locally and regionally. The people-to-people component of the project embedded in biking and rural tours will help to increase public appreciation of the adventure tourism and environment-friendly types of tourism. Further, the communication strategies, closer interactions of stakeholders and the formalising relationship will promote discussions on the policy level to set preconditions for a long–term and sustainable touristic developments in the region. The project has elements related to modern technology that allows creating online visibility products eliminating borders and timelines. Such accessibility and freedom are essential for continuous visibility and flow of tourists by supplying them information.
The action is also an effort to develop a new culture and public attitude towards diversified types of tourism activities and services. Biking tour is one of the types of adventure tourism that has popularity among amateurs. The biking cross-border tour packages will be one of the first official tours offered by organised tourism service providers in Armenia. The tours will be applied in the Northern regions of the country; however it is known that there are many armature biking clubs and non-formal groups who would be very interested in becoming a part of official tours. More specifically, a group of young people from Vayots Dzor expressed their interest in supporting the action as well as seeking the opportunity to develop such tours for their region. Not only biking tours will be duplicated and adjusted to the specifics in other regions within Armenia, the same effect will be observed in Georgia as well. The increase of biking ours in two countries will foster the increase of such tours regionally. Another effect of the action will be the development of rural tourism component. The villages located close to the borders will have increased the flow of tourists as well as increased income from tourist spending. This competitive advantage of the target communities will boost the motivation of neighbouring communities to also offer services and products and create ways to attract tourists to their communities as well. The infrastructure strengthening, especially its human resource development component will empower local farmers and staff of service providers to take charge for their well-being individually and on the community level. Training materials produced within the project will serve as a development resource not only for trainees but may serve information and experience exchange purposes for communities neighbouring those targeted by the project. The networking of tourism stakeholders and the conferences to be held per country are the foremost channels to address the efficiency and replication of newly proposed types of touristic services institutionally having in perspective the expected formalisation of partner relationships. In addition, the info-platform offering wide access to touristic services, while directly serving the purpose of marketing the existent services, including the newly devised packages, will enhance awareness of cross-border touristic development possibilities among the wider audience of service providers. Finally, the combined cross-border tour packages that attract more tourists will serve as a model for the touristic agencies. The agencies will follow the lead and create new packages, new mixed methodologies and offer more diversification in their services which will be followed by increased number of tourists.