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Yerevan, June 9, 2020 – The European Union, through its EU4Business “Innovative Tourism for Armenia” project implemented by German Development Cooperation GIZ announces the EU4Business Innovative Tourism Action Grants in Times of Covid-19 Scheme for Armenia’s tourism industry for doing business in these times. 

Support provided through EU4Business Innovative Tourism Action Grants aims to increase tourism organisations’ productivity and competitiveness, improve tourism entrepreneurs’ and workers’ skills and qualifications, push for the development and upgrade of existing and new products and services, and to encourage to follow innovative marketing and re-branding approaches in order to optimally adapt to a shifting context and get prepared for changing markets, changing demand and changing ways of doing business.
The call is open for eligible applicants from all over Armenia; proposed projects, though, should contribute to the development of innovative tourism in Armenia’s three northern regions Tavush, Lori, Shirak. 
The announcement of the Call for Proposals including further information on the application process, downloadable application documents and contact details may be found on armacad.am and other platforms. Interested organisations may apply by June 28, 2020.
Andrea Wiktorin, EU Ambassador to Armenia: The European Union stands ready to support the Armenian Government  and the people of Armenia in these hard times of COVID-19 pandemic. We have been giving support since the early days of the pandemic with a total budget of over €92 million  to be directed to various interventions and projects aimed at mitigating the impacts of COVID-19. The assistance is especially targeting the sectors of the economy, which  were mostly hit. The tourism sector is one of those vulnerable sectors, and we, with our EU4Business “Innovative Tourism for Armenia” project, jointly implemented with GIZ Armenia, are initiating this special grant scheme: “Innovative Tourism Action Grants in Times of Covid-19”, which will offer around €300 thousand to support Armenian businesses within the tourism sector with their operations. We are certain, that through joint efforts, we will succeed in supporting tourism businesses to get through this difficult period.   
Syuzanna Safaryan, Head of Tourism Committee of RA: We welcome and are in full support of the EU4Business Initiative’s active approach to support Armenia’s tourism sector in these turbulent times with a specific action. The EU4Business Innovative Tourism Action Grants scheme is an important and much needed intervention that will complement the Tourism Committee’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 evoked challenges.
Anne Kempa, Country Director GIZ Armenia: With the EU4Business Innovative Tourism Action Grants scheme, implemented jointly with the European Union and GIZ Armenia, we aim to support Armenia’s tourism sector in the three northern regions. We will do this through providing grants for innovative projects that will” 
- improve tourism businesses' and entrepreneurs’ offer and performance, 
- increase productivity and competitiveness and thus, 
- contribute to sustaining jobs in the tourism sector and beyond. 
About the Innovative Tourism Action Grants Scheme
The aim of the EU4Business Innovative Tourism Action Grants Scheme is to support Armenia’s tourism sector to mitigate Covid-19 challenges by providing financial support (grants) to tourism businesses and consortia of tourism businesses, social enterprises, NGOs and foundations operating in Armenia’s three northern provinces Tavush, Lori and Shirak to implement innovative projects to better adapt to and recover from the current crisis. 
About the EU4Business initiative - EU4Business  is an umbrella initiative that includes all EU support to small and  medium businesses (SMEs) in the Eastern Partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine.
EU4Business supports SME growth through improving access to finance, promoting better business regulations, improving services to business, and taking advantage of trade opportunities. EU4Business interventions result in creating and sustaining jobs, higher SME growth and increased SME exports.
In 2019, EU4Business supported SME growth through 122 projects with budgets
totaling €836 million. Read more: www.eu4business.eu
About EU4Business “Innovative Tourism for Armenia”  
The EU4Business “Innovative Tourism for Armenia” is  part of the EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” project, which is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It is being implemented by German Development Cooperation GIZ under the umbrella of the Private Sector Development and TVET South Caucasus Programme. The project started in November 2019 and will run until April 2023. The project is part of the EU4Business initiative (www.eu4business.eu) of the European Union. The EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” project follows two main directions: development of ventures in innovative tourism and development of high-tech and innovation ecosystem in Armenia. For reaching these goals the project will set up competitions for grants, provide technical assistance by experts, ensure community and stakeholder participation in the regions and support the development of the entrepreneurial eco-system 
The EU4Business “Innovative Tourism for Armenia” is focused on the development of enhanced tourism offerings. It will focus on the Northern regions aiming to support the creation of good jobs, sustainable businesses and responsible tourism value added. There will be three grant schemes with different focus for tourism ventures. Furthermore, it will be supporting the Tourism Committee of the Ministry of Economy, including supporting data driven tourism marketing activities.
For media inquiries please contact Nune Kochinyan, Communications officer of the EU4Business “Innovative Tourism and Technology Development for Armenia” project, tel: 077 17 27 12
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