AAPTG in cooperation with COAF Smart center implemented a project of Training of Tourist Guides and Hiking Escorts in Lori region. The training was organized from August 15 to September 19, 2022.
The participants, who were selected based on their applications and interviews, began three weeks of theoretical online classes taught by the association's and sphere’s top professionals.
The theoretical courses were on the following topics: Armenian History, History of the Armenian Apostolic Church, Geography, Architecture, Natural Science, Khachkars(cross stones). Particular attention was paid to Lori region.
Then, with a module specially developed for this project, 10-day active practical trainings were carried out, during which the future tourist guides and hiking escorts participated in interactive exercises equipped with didactic materials and saw an example of a real tour conducted in Odzun and Haghpat. During the tour, the participants got acquainted with subtlety of the guide's work.
The practical part included topics such as guiding ethics, rhetoric, communication skills, interpretation skills, positioning, tour planning, organizing and conducting, group dynamics and management, adventure tourism, conflict management, collaboration with partners, guiding psychology, tourism law of RA, tourism business skills and marketing.
Emphasizing the safety of tourists during tours and the ability of a tourist guide to be well-prepared in various situations, the participants also had a comprehensive first aid lesson.
The participants also had an opportunity to get acquainted with the difficulties of adventure tours and the necessary preparation through the invited special guest, hiker, mountaineer and adventure tourism specialist Gevorg Gasparyan, who shared his experience in adventure tourism, gave invaluable advice based on his rich experience as well answered the questions raised.
Within the framework of the course, two bonus sessions were also conducted:
“Viticulture And Wine Making in Armenian Culture" and "Guiding in UNESCO Sites".
The practical trainings were conducted by AAPTG president Yasha Solomonyan, as well as AAPTG board members Anahit Avagyan, Ani Hayryan and Katar Taslakyan.
At the end of the course the participants took a theoretical test checking their theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as oral and practical examinations on Tourist Guide Skills.
Completion certificates were given to the participants who successfully completed the course and successfully passed the theoretical and practical exams. The rest of the participants received a certificate of participation.
On October 29th the certificate handing ceremony was held in Vanadzor.