ArmInfo. The Armenian Government approved the US$55 million loan agreement between Armenia and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (dated 23 Feb 2013) for the Local Economy and Infrastructure Development Project(LEIDP) for Armenia. The relevant decision was taken at today's sitting of the Government.
Armenian Deputy Finance Minister Pavel Safaryan said that the loan is provided for improving infrastructure services and institutional capacity for increased tourism contribution to the local economy in five selected regions of the country. The World Bank will provide a US$55 million IBRD loan of variable spread with a 14.5-year grace period and the total repayment term of 25 years.
The project demonstrates an integrated approach to development of tourism corridors and circuits for diversifying and improving Armenia's tourism products, which could increase spending and deliver a more robust tourism-led local economic development. The Project activities are expected to benefit the residents, tourists and enterprises.
More specifically, the first component - Heritage Hub Regeneration and Tourism Circuit Development - will finance urban regeneration activities in the old towns of Goris and Meghri, and in the heritage villages Areni, Tatev and Tandzatap. This includes restoration of
public infrastructure, building facades and roofs, public spaces, museums, access roads, water and sanitation, drainage and street lighting. This component will also finance an integrated approach to cultural heritage preservation and improved site management plans of
the most attractive cultural and natural heritage sites located along the main tourism circuit in Armenia: Garni (Temple and Gorge), Geghard Monastery, Dvin Museum, Khor Virap Monastery, Areni marketplace and cave, Mozrov cave, Zorats Qarer(Karahunge/Stonehendge), Khndzoresk and the two UNESCO Sites of Haghpat and Sanahin. The second - Institutional Development component - will increase the institutional capacity and performance of the
Development Foundation of Armenia (DFA), the Ministry of Economy (MoE), responsible for overall coordination and policy support of the Project, the Historical and Culture Heritage Protection Agency (HCHPA), and the Armenia Territorial Development Fund (ATDF), as the
implementing entity, to carry out tourism related activities at the various levels in a sustainable manner.