Armenian Association of Professional Tourist Guides

10 Things To Know About Armenian Association of Professional Tourist Guides (AAPTG)

1. What year was the Armenian Association of Professional Tourist Guides (AAPTG) established, and where is the headquarters?

The Armenian Association of Professional Tourist Guides (AAPTG) was established on August 11, 2017. The headquarters is situated at 58a/49 Mamikonyants street., Yerevan, Republic of Armenia.

2. What is the primary mission/goal of AAPTG

The main goals of our associaton are:

  • to prepare professional tourist guides by organizing training courses, workshops, round tables, etc. in order to develop and improve their skills
  • to raise the standards and image of our profession in Armenia
  • to unite the tourist guides of the country, involve them in tourism activities and to protect their rights and legitimate interests
  • to review the sector-related legislation, identify and analyse the issues hindering the development of the sector and take relevant steps to address them at local and state level.
  • to evaluate the country's tourism potential, gather information and ensure its accessibility to visitors
  • to preserve and maintain our natural environment, and our historical and cultural monuments.

Being the largest association of tourist guides in Armenia, AAPTG works continually in cooperation with various tour companies, the tourism department of Yerevan Municipality, local authorities, the Tourism Committee of RA Ministry of Economy, universities, schools, international and local organizations like Armenia Hiking Association, Armenian Guides Guild, Armenian Mountaineering and Mountain Tourism Federation, Association of Armenian Tour Operators and Tour Agencies, Armenian Tourism Federation, etc. When implementing various projects and training programs, AAPTG makes sure to involve not only its own members but the members of other associations as well.

3. What is the process to become a qualified tourist guide in Armenia?

As since 2010 there has been no licensed structured education system with a state regulation for tourist guides in Armenia, tourist guides receive their professional qualification through training courses offered by different organizations or companies. AAPTG has also developed a certification course on tourist guiding in consultation with our accredited WFTGA international (2) and national (3) member-trainers and university professors. This is a five month course, running four days a week for 2-2,5 hours a day and is usually run once every year between the beginning of November and the end of March.

The course includes both theoretical parts (History, Architecture, Geography, Geology, History of Armenian Apostolic Church, Miniature and Manuscripts, Mural Paintings, Lithography, Economy, History And Art of Cross-stone Making, etc.) and practical elements (Communication Skills, Group Management, Positioning and Presentation Skills, Conflict Management, Guiding in Cultural and Religious Places, in a City, on a Coach, Walking Tours, etc.).

At the end of the course all participants take two types of examination: theoretical (written test to assess knowledge on all theoretical subjects covered during the training) and practical (guiding on a coach, on site, on a walking tour, etc.). Based on examination results, two types of certificates are issued by the association: for completion and for participation. The association certificate is unofficially recognized as a token of professionalism by the industry partners and more importantly the Tourism Committee of the Republic of Armenia.

4. Once qualified, how do tourist guides in Armenia maintain their qualification? Also, is there an official badge that qualified tourist guides in Armenia wear?

As there is no state licensed tourist guide training program in Armenia, there are also no regulations to keep or renew the tourist guide qualification. Once qualified by any of the organizations offering tourist guide training courses, it is usual for tourist guides to regularly participate in a variety of refresher training courses, both theoretical and practical, in order to maintain or improve their skills.

There is no official badge for qualified tourist guides in Armenia, each tourist guides association or travel agency presents its own badge to its tourist guide-members.

AAPTG also gives badges to its members every year. It includes the photo of the member, information on the validity of the document, the official stamp of the association, the QR Code that will lead to the official webpage of the association which gives detailed personal information on the member’s education and work experience, and feedback provided by tourists and tour companies.

5. How many qualified tourist guides are members of the Armenian Association of Professional Tourist Guides (AAPTG) and tell us about their diverse backgrounds?

Currently there are 110 qualified tourist guides in AAPTG. Before becoming tourist guides many of our members had very different jobs. A great number of them were specialists in foreign languages or lecturers and translators, and others had a range of interesting jobs like folk dancer, archaeologist, painter, historian, sculptor, culturologist, pastry chef, architect, professor of oriental studies, designer, geologist, botanist, radio host, lawyer, pianist, linguist, etc. Now many of them successfully apply their work experience in the field of tourist guiding and fortunately do not want to change their jobs again.

6. What are some of the professional development classes offered to members of Armenian Association of Professional Tourist Guides (AAPTG)?

Within the framework of the "Continuous Education for Tourist Guides" program refresher courses, both theoretical and practical, are regularly presented by AAPTG to its members in cooperation with specialists of different organizations, institutes and universities, tourism agencies and associations, both foreign and Armenian, like the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts, the Armenian Institute For Tourism, the Branch Of Russian International Academy For Tourism, UNDP, USAID, WWF, etc.,

7. What are some of the top reasons for using a qualified tourist guide in Armenia?

  • Saving time and skipping the queues for visits to some of the places of interest
  • Having access to some of historical and archaeological sites impossible to visit without a tourist guide
  • Having a sense of security, with your guide making it easy to overcome the language barrier and communicate with local people
  • Discovering unique details and stories about a destination that you will never find on the internet or in travel books
  • Uncovering lesser known places of interest, having a cultural insight and unique experiences
  • Learning about the local food culture, as well as having an opportunity to taste homemade cuisine
  • Dealing with possible problems that may happen during the trip and keeping you safe when undertaking adventure activities such as mountain climbing, trekking, rafting, etc.

8. What are some of the popular places to visit in Armenia.

Armenia is a small but very old, colourful and beautiful country, rich with both cultural, historical and natural sites. Some of the most popular places to visit in Armenia are:

  • Yerevan, the largest city and capital of Armenia, with more than 2,800 years of history, a welcoming city of unique architectural masterpieces, cafés, bars and restaurants, museums, theatres and beautiful parks and squares. A city of hospitability and unending experiences.
  • Echmiadzin, the spiritual centre for all Armenians. Armenia is the first country in the world that adopted Christianity as a state religion in 301 AD and the Echmiadzin Cathedral, one of the oldest Christian churches of the world, was built to commemorate this event. Visitors may also have the opportunity to see the Armenian Holy Mass, sometimes with the participation of the Armenian “Pope” called “Catholicos”.
  • Lake Sevan, which is the biggest lake of Armenia, situated at 1900m above sea level. It has a number of beaches where all kinds of water sports like swimming, surfing or skiing are available. It also has a wide choice of excellent seafood restaurants along its shore. Being surrounded by old monasteries and high mountains, it provides spectacular scenery.
  • Geghard Monastery is a 13th century monastery complex and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Some of the churches and other monastery buildings were cut into the rock. Once it was famous for its musical school and even today one can hear medieval spiritual chants sung by the choir of the monastery. It is also one of the most beautiful examples of the Armenian medieval architecture and has a beautiful location, surrounded by breathtaking cliffs.
  • Dilijan National Park is one of the four natural parks of Armenia famous for its forest landscapes, rich biodiversity, medicinal mineral water springs and natural and cultural sites. It has much to offer especially to those who like hiking, zip-lining or horse riding.
  • Garni temple is a first century temple and the only standing pagan temple in the country. It is situated at the edge of a triangular cliff, which overlooks the ravine of the Azat River. The ravine is striking for its wonderful basaltic rocks in the form of straight, hexagonal pipes. Looking like huge organs, the cliffs are referred as the “Symphony of Stones”.
  • Tatev Monastery is a majestic medieval (9th century AD) structure located on the edge of a deep gorge and surrounded by amazing mountainous landscapes. In order to get to the monastery one can take a cable-car, listed in the Guinness Book of Records as being the longest reversible in the world, and glide over the deep gorge for about 20 minutes and enjoy the fantastic scenery.

9. What are some general tips you would give to potential visitors planning a vacation to Armenia.

  • Armenia is a very safe and friendly country, so there is no need to worry about walking about alone in the streets. The people are very outgoing and hospitable and will try to help you with whatever they can.
  • Be prepared to gain weight! The local cuisine is very delicious, especially the vegetables and fruit- you will not be able to stop eating!
  • The country will surprise you with both its cultural, historical monuments and its natural environment. It offers a wide choice of activities including visits to historical (monasteries, fortresses, caravanserais, bridges, temple, etc.), cultural and archaeological sites, tasting local food and drinks, hiking, trekking, skiing, paragliding, rafting and participating in festivals and learning about the local traditions, music and dances.
  • The best time to visit Armenia is in the Spring, when the temperature is not too high nor too low, the peaks of mountains are still white with snow, while the slopes and the fields are full of colourful wild flowers.
  • Armenia is an extremely budget-friendly destination overall. Yerevan, being the capital, is one of the more expensive places to visit in the country, but it is still very affordable, specially the food and transportation. A lovely dinner in a good Armenian restaurant may cost 10-20 EUR.
  • Armenia is a mountainous country where the highest mountain is 4092m above sea level and a great part of the country is 1500-2000m above sea level. You are going to be accompanied by mountains every day of your visit, and if your are lucky having also the beautiful view of the magnificent biblical mountain Ararat.
  • Be sure to find time to walk around the streets of Yerevan discovering the beautiful architecture, square and parks, museums, the fruit market, local artisans’ workshops, bars and cafes. You will be surprised to see how lively it becomes especially during the evening and night time.

10. Where can potential visitors to Armenia find out more information about the Armenian Association of Professional Tourist Guides (AAPTG) and also find a qualified tourist guide?

Information about AAPTG and its members can be found on the official website of the association:

and on Facebook and Instagram pages: