News & Analysis

Rafting offers remote Armenian region potential source of revenue

The Armenian Tourism Ministry has officially launched the website rafting.am, devoted entirely to the pastime of rafting in Armenia, scene as a potential source of revenue for the country’s remote regions. The project, supported by the UNDP and the Russian Federation offers tourists and Armenian residents alike the chance to explore mountain rivers in the Lori region. According to the deputy head of the state committee for tourism of Armenia, Mikhak Apresyan, the programme has been developed under the Integrated Rural Tourism Development Strategy, and its total budget is 3 million US dollars.

Besides the UNDP and Russian Federation, one of the supporters of the project is the Association of Young Women (AYWA). Its representative noted that the programme would be focused on improving the living standards of young women and families in the region. Lilit Astryan, a representative of AYWA said that tourists would be able to choose from a range of rafting tours, day-trips to and multi-day tours including accommodation and meals.

“The one-day tour, which starts from the village of Haghpat and finishes at Neghots, will cost 12 thousand drams (around 21.50 euros),” she said.

The founders of the programme are currently negotiating with different travel agencies to promote the tours. Additionally, they are planning to build close relations with the Rafting Association of Georgia, to exchange experiences and cooperate on future development.

The idea of developing rafting in Armenia first appeared in autumn 2017, when Armenian and foreign experts studied the conditions and opportunities for rafting on the country’s mountain rivers of Armenia. After careful consideration, they concluded that the Debed river is the most rafting-friendly and offers the best possibility of developing a rafting industry.