The project is implemented by Heifer Armenia as a lead partner in cooperation with Heifer Georgia, Varna Economic Development Agency (VEDA, Bulgaria), Gumushane National Educational Directorate, a press release said.
The regional group of 37 people consisting of tourism service providers and travel agents were in Georgia on exchange visit to discover the nature and cultural heritage of Georgia, study the potential for further development of rural tourism, as well as learn the specifics of Georgian rural tourism through visiting the sights of in rural areas, including ancient monasteries, museums, eco-cottages, wineries, a horse farm, etc.
“I am deeply impressed with this tour during which I re-discovered a lovely country of Georgia by visiting wine cellars, monasteries, the Prometheus cave, seeing how the local travel agents serve the interests of their visitors and tourists,” Anahit Ghazanchyan, Heifer Armenia Country Director said.
The PIRT project is directed at supporting regional cooperation and cross border partnerships for economic and social development in four Black Sea Basin countries (Armenia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia) based on combined resources through creation of rural tourism networks in order to promote joint tourism development initiatives and traditional products.
In the framework of the project a network of trained and capable local service providers in rural tourism and travel agencies will be established which will develop and sell a unique touristic product Single Cross-border Visitor package (SCBV package). The SCBV package will increase the inter-flows of visitors on the regional level and contribute to unprecedented cooperation between national authorities in the region and intra-country, aimed ultimately to sustaining the cross-border impacts of rural tourism.
PIRT is co-financed by the European Union in the amount of Euro 472,923.43 through the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument. The project began in November 2013 and its duration is 18 months.