Wine tourism has seen significant growth over the past 5 years in Armenia. However, the country still has a large untapped potential in the field. The recent revival of the wine sector, establishment of small boutique wineries and improvement of the wine quality as well as the increasing number of tourists are creating excellent opportunities for wine tourism in Armenia.
On the one hand, the number of tourists visiting the country and particularly showing interest in wine tourism products is growing. As wine tourism products are transforming into more complex ones, the role of wine tour guides as important links between tourists, wine producers, and other players of the industry is becoming more prominent. Therefore, there was an urgent need to systematize and improve the knowledge base on winemaking and wine tourism products to enhance Armenia’s image as a wine producing and wine tourism destination.
GuideMASTER is the wine industry guide training program. GuideMASTER program aims to increase the quality of wine tourism in Armenia through the professional training of wine guides and to increase the international ranking of Armenia as an ancient wine-producing country.
The project is implemented by the ICARE Foundation, with the support of the “Development of the Private Sector and VET in the South Caucasus” program of the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) operating on behalf of the German government, within the framework of cooperation with the Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Economy of Armenia and the Viticulture and Winery Foundation of Armenia.
The program includes two main study modules: History , Art and Culture and Viticulture and Winemaking , but an important educational component of the program is also practical classes in specialized wine tasting and sensory evaluation, which is conducted by leading experts in the field. 20 tour guides have been trained and certified as Wine Guides to professionally serve the industry needs. Practical training includes visits to wine regions, vineyards, historical and cultural places of Armenia in order to get acquainted with the history and cultural heritage of Armenian wine.
At the end of the program, the course participants will be able to:
- Independently design and conduct competent wine tours ,
- To acquaint tourists and guests with the history , characteristics and wines of the Armenian wine regions ,
- To improve the quality of services in the field of wine tourism ,
- Acquire professional skills and knowledge .