KAMK is the coordinator for the project called ‘Development of Sustainable Tourism and Support of Local Handicrafts in the Rural Azerbaijan’. The steering group from Finland visited the project target regions on 5-11 November 2017 to evaluate the project activities conducted so far and to give guidance for the upcoming development activities.
The project is implemented in cooperation with two non-governmental organizations: Sustainable Future NGO in Finland and the local partner Ekoloji Tarazliq NGO (EKOT) who is responsible for carrying out the activities in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University (ATMU) is an important stakeholder and supports the project activities.
The project creates new, good-quality and accessible travel products corresponding to the needs of customers from Azerbaijan and abroad. The project also promotes economic development and supports women's role in rural tourism.
The evaluation team consisted of six steering group members including Mr Mikko Keränen, Development Director of RDI Services at KAMK and Mr Urpo Heikkinen, entrepreneur of travel company Upitrek. The team was assisted by the project manager Ms Kaisa Merilahti from KAMK. The evaluation team had a chance to familiarize with the development activities for one of the target regions, Quba, which is situated at the Caucasus Mountains. The evaluation team also participated a seminar concerning the rural tourism marketing strategy. The seminar was organized at the Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University which offered a chance to discuss also about the future cooperation between the higher education institutions KAMK and ATMU.
The evaluation team was convinced about the high potential of the rural tourism in Azerbaijan and the need for development activities. The local project staff warmly welcomed and hosted their Finnish guests during the visit.
The project continues until the end of year 2019. Next year there will be student and staff mobility organized between the universities to support the project goals.
More information about the project: https://www.kamk.fi/en/Business-Services/Research-and-Development/Activity-Tourism/Development-of-Tourism-and-Sport-SMEs/Azerbaijan
The project is primarily funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.