A previous report prepared by TEPAV ‘Strengthening Connections and Business Synergies Between Turkey and Armenia’ identified Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and tourism as target sectors for cross-border economic cooperation. The context of this study, under the “the Support to Armenia Turkey Normalization Process” programme funded by European Union, is to go deeper into the role of tourism as a springboard to mutual economic collaboration between Armenia and Turkey.
Extensive desk research and field trips that included interviews with prominent stakeholders were made in order to dig deeper into the subject. In this sense the tourism potential of North East Anatolia, specifically Kars province was investigated. This investigation was set on two aspects: i)solo potential of Kars as a tourism destination and potential of Kars as a tourism destination integrated with South Caucasus and Armenia. It is believed that the most important leverage for the further development of tourism in the region is the achievements in normalization process between Armenia and Turkey. This puts tourism as a mutually beneficial cooperation opportunity where it is both a facilitator of normalization and one of the mostimportant prizes of the normalization process itself. The paper presents this fact and puts forward prominent policy objectives for Kars tourism and its integration to the region.
Ms. Arpine Aleksanyan and Ms. Sona Baloyan from Yerevan, from “Matenadaran” Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, were supported with the travel grant to visit Istanbul, Turkey for meetings with the Armenian Patriarchate, Armenian high schools, foundations and publishing houses to discuss possibilities of further collaboration on preserving the Armenian culture.