USAID “MY ARMENIA” PROGRAM IMPLEMENTED BY THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION AND AGBU ARMENIAN VIRTUAL COLLEGE INTRODUCE MULTIMEDIA TOURISM E-BOOK FOR VAYOTS DZOR

USAID “My Armenia” Program implemented by the Smithsonian Institution and AGBU Armenian Virtual College (AVC) have joined efforts to develop a multimedia e-book about Vayots Dzor, one of Armenia’s most beautiful provinces, to boost regional tourism and cultural preservation. The public launch of the e-book took place today at the Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) premises in downtown Yerevan.

“We are trying to align our socio-economic development projects with the strategic priorities of the Armenian government. AGBU actively supports the innovative ideas and products that contribute to the development of tourism as one of the most dynamic and promising sectors in Armenia,” said Vasken Yacoubian, AGBU Armenia President and AGBU Central Board Member.

During his opening remarks at the event, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills said: “The My Armenia project is creating economic opportunities and improving livelihoods for people in Armenia’s rural communities. The multimedia Vayots Dzor e-book is the first in a series of unique online guides that will encourage tourists to explore Armenia’s natural beauty, its rich culture and hospitable people, and, most importantly to get out of Yerevan. Don’t get me wrong, this is a lovely city, but Vayots Dzor and the other marzes have so much to offer and tourists need to know about it – which is where these e-books come in.”

The Vayots Dzor e-book is the most comprehensive travel resource for tourists planning their trip to the region. It introduces the history, nature and cultural heritage of Vayots Dzor in an interactive and visually engaging manner, and provides rich information about the local architecture, archeology, adventure activities, festivals and events, cuisine and accommodation.

The e-book is part of AVC’s Multimedia e-Book Series available in seven languages. The e-books are available for free download on smartphones, tablets and PCs.

“AVC is proud to partner with the My Armenia program in our mission of introducing the wealth of the Armenian heritage to the world,” said Dr. Yervant Zorian, the AVC Founding President. “We started our popular Multimedia e-Book Series in an effort to extend the knowledge from AVC’s virtual classrooms to the public at large. The new e-book uses creative state-of-the-art solutions to promote the richness and diversity of Vayots Dzor’s nature and history and was designed to contribute to the greater number of tourists in the region.”

“The My Armenia Program brings in USAID’s and the Smithsonian’s expertise to demonstrate the productive relationship that can transpire between culture and economic development. Enhanced and diversified cultural heritage tourism offerings developed by My Armenia in close cooperation with our key partners such as AGBU and Armenian Virtual College can stimulate sustainable economic growth in rural communities while preserving Armenia’s rich cultural heritage,” said Sisak Mkhitaryan, My Armenia Program Manager.

The Vayots Dzor e-book has already received positive reviews from tourism industry professionals and local businesses. My Armenia and AVC plan to continue the collaboration and develop e-books for other regions of Armenia.

 
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