Within the framework of the EXCELTOUR project, the Armenian NGO Development Principles organized an offline conference to present the results. It was held on June 30 on the premises of Ani Plaza hotel in the center of Yerevan, Armenia. The conference started with opening remarks by the Ambassador of Romania to Armenia Mr. Cornel Ionescu. He highlighted the importance of the initiative of the Romanian government to support a regional cooperation program in the Black Sea Region, with a particular focus on jointly promoting business and entrepreneurship in the tourism sector and enhancing its competitiveness.
Anahit Ghazanchyan, President and CEO of Development Principles NGO made a presentation on the project results in Armenia. In particular, in 2020 the project trained and certified 5 EFQM facilitators, who successfully gained experience with preparing eleven business companies to apply for EFQM validation. In 2022 additional 13 EFQM facilitators were trained and are now ready for entering the process of Validated by EFQM challenge.
As a major result of the project 11 tourism–related business companies received certification “Validated by EFQM”. In June the Armenian partner organized Virtual Study Tour to Armenia for Greek and Romanian partners, as planned. Development Principles NGO also created a website for the regional cooperation projects, which has been successfully operating since January 2021 (https://exceltour.org/).
Dr. Ghazanchyan also shared the future plans to make EFQM a recognizable and desirable brand name in Armenia and related activities. Dr. Ioannis Berdsatos, CEO of INBIAN, made a speech on behalf of the Board of Directors, in which he thanked his colleagues – INBIAN/EFQM Assessors who remain committed to the effective promotion of the EFQM model. INBIAN is an Institute for Sustainability and Growth that provides services worldwide for recognition of the EFQM model. This is a new organization, that due to the EXCELTOUR project had spread the journey towards the EFQM model across Armenia, Ukraine, Greece, and Romania to support business companies to achieve better results, sustainability, and growth.
Mr. George Stampoulis emphasized that EFQM validation is the reward for achieving results. He said that he was impressed by the effectiveness and professionalism of the Armenian partner, facilitators, and business companies. Mr. Stampoulis expressed his gratitude to the wonderful capital of human resources that were created in the project by an Armenian partner. 11 companies that are validated by EFQM became recognized as outstanding organizations that apply the EFQM model and now represent a critical mass of the business companies in Armenia. Mr. Stampoulis recommended multiplying the results of the project and never stopping on this journey for business excellence. Online participants were also representatives of Romanian, Greek, and Ukrainian partners. The event was concluded by the ceremony of handing over certificates and EFQM trophy awards to eleven business companies in Armenia.
Validated by EFQM companies:
- Hyur Service LLC
- Armenian Villas
- Dargett LLC
- Republica LLC
- Food Republic LLC
- Tufenkian Heritage Hotels
- ACTI Group
- Park Resort Aghveran
- Berlin ART Hotel
- Yell Extreme Park
- Tsakhkunq Guest House – Tsakhkunq Chef House
Through the EXCELLTOUR project, the 6 partners from 5 countries aim at improving the quality of management and increasing the competitiveness of the business companies by introducing and applying the concept of Business Excellence in tourism SMEs using the internationally recognized Excellence Model of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) targeting mainly to ensure the sustainability of tourism.