Provision of support to tourism businesses in Tavush region, enhancement of their capacities: this is the main scope of Modus Consulting activities.
The mentioned organization has established the “Tavush Tourism Club” through the EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” (EU-ITTD) project, co-financed by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and implemented by GIZ.
The founder of the organization is Margarita Hakobjanyan, who has tried to bring over 20 years of her professional experience in international organizations to the present project.
Margarita told about her previous experience of establishing clubs, such as the Women Entrepreneurs’ Club in Armenia, and she was sure that if run properly, such clubs would succeed in Armenia.
“Moreover, since tourism industry is developing rapidly, we need to support businesses active in the field to develop contacts and become part of the network. Very often, the businesses appear at the same location, but the network is not yet established, since personal talks undermine business communication, with those engaged being unaware, for example that the person, the business they need for the success of their enterprise is just next door”, clarifies Margarita.
The next goal of establishing the Club was to enhance the capacities of tourism businesses. According to Margarita Hakobjanyan, the business managers often fail to notice the progress taking place and track the most recent developments.
Profound infight of Tavush region was the reason for establishing the Club there. It was mentioned, that it was crucial to have a model developed for one region to be replicated in other regions in the future.
The programme launched in November has two components: creation of hybrid products, which include trainings, consultancy, coaching. As a starting point, mapping of the problems of participants was conducted, based on which trainings were developed.
The second component includes the activities of the Club, where the participants are led to another platform.
“Our job is to find out details about the participants, the problems they face as well as the network they are seeking for, before they come and join the activities of the Club. With all this insight, we manage to bring them into contact with the right people”, tells Margarita.
According to her, businesses most often face financial problems as well as issues related to business administration, marketing, COVID-19 pandemic, proper presentation of products etc. It is planned to offer trainings on these topics in the Club. They do not provide financing to businesses, but rather an attempt is made to promote the opportunities for networking and fund raising.
“My engineering background helps me a lot in my work to build the processes properly. I consider myself a business expert, but something from my engineering background definitely helps me, it was surely, not gone wasted”, says Margarita.
Talking about the tourism potential in Tavush region, Margarita mentioned, that there are both large as well as small-sized businesses. The study has shown, that in case of small businesses, the quality of services needs to be improved.
“It is true that the tourists are fond of cosy, homelike atmosphere, however there should be certain limits to this informality. A tourist shall not be received as a family member, but rather as a visitor to whom services are provided”, she says.
The founder of “Tavush Tourism Club” mentioned also, that it was very hard for them to find relevant specialists in Tavush. The permanent staff of the Club consists of six people. Margarita Hakobjanyan mentioned, that the grant received from GIZ helped them to develop into an institutionalized entity, have a sustainably funded programme, establish a team, move in the right direction and become more recognizable.
“Tourism Innovation Academy, which is collaborating with GIZ, is working intensively with the organizations having received the grants, and it is highly useful for us to participate in the club’s activities, discussions, trainings and events organized by the Academy”, mentioned Margarita.
The official opening of the Club will take place on February 17. It is planned to make the Club financially self-sustainable in the future.
The EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia (ITTD)’’ project is co-funded by the European Union and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
The aim of the project is to ensure shared and balanced inclusive growth in tourism and innovative industries. This will be achieved through innovative tourism ventures in the Northern regions of Armenia, support to high-tech and innovative entrepreneurs, international knowledge exchange for high-tech researchers as well as networks to enable entrepreneurship culture for students and the general population. Within the framework of the project, more than 100 ventures have already been supported, assistance has been provided in sustaining and/or creating 400 jobs, and more than 800 people have undergone various trainings. https://eu4business-tourism-tech.am/en