EU Funds Black Sea Silk Road Corridor Project
On January 7, the EU through the Ministry of Regional Development and Tourism in Bucharest, Romania acting as the Joint Managing Authority for the Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Programme signed a contract for the implementation of the Black Sea – Silk Road Corridor (BSSRC). The project is being implemented with partners in Greece, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia.
In Armenia the BSSRC is implemented by the Armenian Monuments Awareness Project (AMAP) with co-funding from the USAID Enterprise Development and Market Competitiveness (EDMC) Project, and in cooperation with the Armenian Society for the Protection of Birds (ASPB).
The Black Sea Silk Road Corridor Project is a Tour Trail that will offer an exciting opportunity to retrace the ancient Silk Road through Greece, Turkey, Georgia and Armenia, explore the fascinating sights and cultures and the stunning sceneries of these ancient lands. Historical and cultural sights abound, as does incredible natural beauty, wide open spaces and awe-inspiring mountains and lakes, with plenty of opportunity to get involved in the local ways of life and enjoy unforgettable hospitality. The project aims at supporting cross border partnerships for economic and social development of above mentioned 4 countries through creation of tourism networks and promotion of local (rural) services and traditional products.
The BSSRC platform will offer visitors consistent opportunities to experience the natural destinations of the Black Sea BAsin countries, while learning about local history and culture. Apart from significant economic growth, the BSSRC Project Tour Trail will bring many environmental benefits. The paramount of them is the protection of biological resources, because for this platform to develop local communities will have to value their nature, preserve and maintain local ecologies (natural and cultural).
Despite the significant growth in tourism, many of the historic, cultural and environmental sites along this segment of the Silk Road are unknown and unvisited. The BSSRC Trail Tour will be useful especially to those visitors who enjoy independent travelling any time if the year. It is unique because it can provide information on areas with outstanding features but difficult access, specific wildlife that can be seen along the trail and services such as local tour guides wherever established. The areas in question provide an excellent opportunity to do this, as nature trails, bird watching areas, preserves and protected areas happen to surround many of the cultural or historical destinations which partner states will work on.
For Armenia, the project has three main components:
1. From 2013 to 2015, 43 Armenian cultural – historical and natural sites will be marked with directional signs, information panels, trail markers, and walking tour plaques, which will provide multi-lingual content about the site.
2. In the same manner, a web portal will be created to feature the virtual version of the trail, along with five smart-phone applications with social media integration. An online directory will also provide an inclusive list of tourism service providers (lodging, food, local crafts, souvenirs, tour guides, etc) at destination points. The directory and the applications will be designed by Armenian IT engineers and used across all four countries. At least 100 local Armenian entrepreneurs will be registered in the online directory, immediately reaching users of the web portal and APPs.
3. A number of events and training courses will be organized locally for the Armenian tourism service providers on the effective use of online opportunities granted by the web portal and the applications.
The Lead Beneficiary for the Project (Applicant/ENPI) is the Armenian Monuments Awareness Project (AMAP) Cultural NGO in Armenia. Other partners are:
1. The Economists’ Association , Turkey (IPA Lead Beneficiary) http://www.ekonomistler.org.tr
2. European Regional Framework for Cooperation Interregional Development Organization (ERFC), Greece , http://www.erfc.gr
3. TADZRELI Foundation, Georgia https://www.facebook.com/foundationtadzreli?ref=stream
4. Armenia Society for the Protection of Birds/BirdLife International Associate in Armenia (ASPB), Armenia , http://www.aspbirds.org
Additional project support in Armenia is provided by the Ministry of Economy, ministry of Culture, ministry of Communication and Transport, Ministry of NAture Protection, the Holy See of Echmiadzin, as well as the International Council on Monuments and Sites, Botanical Institute of Academy of Sciences, Archaeology and Ethnography Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Matenadaran, Byurakan Observatory and the Democracy Today NGO.
For more information: Black Sea Silk Road