Yerevan Gastronomic Days #177

Armenia Yerevan
“EventToura։ Event Tourism Developing Agency”, has effectively promoted wine tourism in Armenia over its 8 years of activity, contributing to the sector’s stable position in the economy. Nominations 2023-2024/Enogastronomic Events/Event of the Year/
26A Movses Khorenatsi
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Elevating Armenia's Wine Tourism: The Impact of EventToura's Strategic Initiatives

“EventToura։ Event Tourism Developing Agency”, has effectively promoted wine tourism in Armenia over its 8 years of activity, contributing to the sector’s stable position in the economy. The agency consistently advances with clear steps, setting larger goals after achieving each milestone. One notable demonstration of the organization’s purposeful activity is the “Yerevan Gastronomic Days” initiative, aiming to solidify Armenia’s position on the global enogastronomic map.

To execute this initiative, one of Yerevan’s central streets is entirely closed, unveiling all the secrets of the world of enogastronomy to hundreds of visitors over three days. Witnessing the positive results and the participants’ keen interest, the “Wine classes and Masterclasses” expanded in 2023 to include speakers covering other cultural topics and shows by gastronomy experts.

Evolution of Excellence: From Online Inception to On-Site Triumph – The Journey of Wine Classes and Masterclasses

In 2020, the “Wine Classes and Masterclasses” program was implemented for the first time, in an online format. In 2021, it was carried out on-site, yielding excellent results and driving significant enthusiasm. This success proceeded in 2022, with wine classes and master classes conducted by knowledgeable specialists. Engaging speakers led interesting sessions, creating a strong demand among the public.

Expanding Horizons: The Transformative Journey of 'Yerevan Gastronomic Days' in 2024

“Yerevan Gastronomic Days” serves as more than just a platform for promoting wine culture. Its activities are designed to foster a Gastro-community that brings people together, creating an environment not only for new taste discoveries but also for cultivating a community of individuals who embrace the culture of pairing drinks and food. This initiative shapes a unique wine behavior among its participants, forming a new circle of people who appreciate the art of gastronomy.

Invited speakers contribute significantly to the educational side of “Yerevan Gastronomic Days”, with their master classes and lectures about their experience on the gastronomic sector’s problems and providing solutions to its challenges. Moreover, the cooking master classes combined with wine tastings contribute significantly to the development of gastronomic culture. Guest speakers and industry experts are world-renowned chefs, wine experts, artists, and other industry professionals. This year’s guest speakers include:

  • Alain Alexanian – a French-Armenian chef with two Michelin stars
  • Zarmig Halladjian – Lebanese-Armenian chef from Qatar, TV personality
  • Leyla Fathallah – Lebanese chef, UNEP’s new advocate on food waste in the West Asia region
  • Name will be announced soon. American celebrity chef, and TV personality.
  • Marco Leone – Italian chef, Pizzaiolo
  • Arturs Cehs – Latvian art expert
  • As well as Arbi Gharakhani, the founder of the Armenian Chefs Association
  • Other Armenian and international chefs and sommeliers

Each of the speakers is an internationally recognized and qualified specialist who, upon receiving the invitation to participate in this project, has responded with great enthusiasm and expressed their willingness to contribute during those 3 days.

The “Yerevan Gastronomic Days” project exceeded our expectations and will offer broader possibilities in 2024. Unlike the previous year, two stages with state-of-the-art facilities are planned, each accommodating 140 people. This will enable the audience to enjoy the program freely in the outdoor area, considering the huge flow of visitors from the last years. Each day, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in 9-10 master classes held in a quadrilingual format, ensuring the convenience of participation for international visitors.

EventToura Agency's Impactful Journey in Tourism Development

The organizer of the festival, “EventToura: Event Tourism Developing Agency,” operates as a limited liability company and, thanks to its dedicated team of eight women, achieves remarkable results. The founders of the company, Nune Manukyan, and Mary Badalyan, bring distinct professional experiences to the table, resulting in the establishment of a robust and continually evolving organization. Nune Manukyan, with over 25 years in tourism and marketing with local and international companies, co-founded the agency with Mary Badalyan, who specializes in international trade and contractual relations. From its inception, the company’s singular and clear goal was to position Armenia as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the region through event tourism. With over 8 years of experience, the organization has successfully designed and implemented numerous projects contributing to the vitality of different regions in Armenia, attracting tourists, garnering attention from international media and tour operators, and promoting tourism and the economy. Despite operating independently from state auspices, the organization is entrusted with significant state projects, such as the Republic of Armenia’s independence holidays.

8 Years of Excellence: Elevating Armenia's Tourism Through Eventful Initiatives

Since its establishment, the company has had a singular and clear goal: to position Armenia as one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the region through event tourism. With over 8 years of experience, the organization has successfully designed and implemented numerous projects that contribute to the vitality of different regions in Armenia. These efforts attract tourists, gain international media’s and tour operators’ attention, and promote tourism and economy.

Philosophy and Format

The “Yerevan Gastronomic Days” initiative originally aimed to educate the public on wine culture, promote the culture and history of Armenian wine, and advance wine tourism in Armenia. This year, the “Yerevan Gastronomic Days” initiative has gone one step further in its list of goals. The emphasis is on having a place on the enogastronomic map as an organizer of gastronomic shows, inviting world wine and culinary stars to Armenia, and addressing important issues in the enogastronomy.

Observing the visitors’ enthusiastic participation in the wine classes and master classes, we have expanded both the format and scope of the program. This year, we plan to have two technically equipped stages, each capable of accommodating more than 140 visitors with secured seats. The open space allows visitors to follow the master classes and lectures while being outside the area. Additionally, there will be a designated area for media representatives to ensure comprehensive coverage of the program. Following their speeches, each speaker will introduce themselves through a separate interview, providing detailed insights into their activities, their visit to Armenia, their impressions, and other interesting topics. This setup aims to enhance the overall experience for participants, offering a more engaging and accessible environment for learning and interaction.

In 2023, specialists in the field discussed the topic of “Wine and Food Pairing” as part of the program, exploring the compatibility of specific wines with particular foods and emphasizing the importance of such pairings.

Starting in 2024, the discussions will shift focus to sustainable development, with this year’s Gastronomic Days theme “Food Waste” – a current and significant issue in the sector. The selection of this topic is deliberate, aiming to address the problem of food waste not only for businesses but also to encourage individuals to adopt a responsible approach to food in their daily lives. The theme aligns with the corresponding Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as we advocate for sustainable development and the consumption of healthy food.

Participation in the program is motivated by the chance to receive education on international chef expertise. Based on the successful experience of professionals and visitors in 2023, the format involving chefs will be retained in 2024.

Presented in a quadrilingual version, “Yerevan Gastronomic Days” is accessible to international visitors, industry professionals, businessmen, and tourists interested in the history of wine, tailored to their diverse interests.

Distinguished by its format, this project disseminates culture and art while setting educational standards. It allows visitors to experience the art of blending wine and food flavors, understand the impact of important social issues, and appreciate the presentation of a thousand-year-old culture in a new light.