More Than a Business, Tavush Guesthouse & ASF Grant Awardee Supports Local Village Community

Pioneering the tourism business in the village of Norashen within Tavush, The Edge of the World seeks to provide a “true” Armenian experience for its local and international guests. The aftermath of 2020’s events has yet to cease and continues to trickle down into every area of life for small, family-run business owners worldwide. Less customers typically equates to a decrease in sales which, in turn, means less money to provide for the family and even lesser means to extend support to the local community.

Run by Gar Patyan and his family,The Edge of the World Guesthouse is located in Norashen, Tavush which is about 10 km (about 6 miles) away from Berd, and about 210 km (about 130 miles) away from Yerevan. Prior to COVID-19, Gar’s business would service mainly international travelers looking to explore and experience the area’s culture by providing a safe haven for many travelers to further enjoy the beauty of Norashen and surrounding areas.

Moreover, Gar, in his generosity has become an important part of promoting economic development in his village. As customers come to visit The Edge of the World guesthouse, he makes sure to refer them to other local businesses and even recommends other accommodations.

Gar has dedicated his life to giving – the giving of his home, of his time, of his energy, and of his customers’ business to further develop the community and expose travelers to the beauty and experience of Armenia.

The grant received by The Edge of the World has not only helped to replace the income lost from cancelled and expected bookings and thus help to sustain the Patyan family and local community, it was also be used for the construction of a new restaurant. Next door to the Guesthouse stood an old building that Gar completely demolished leaving only a clay oven designed for baked bread and other Armenian dishes. Gar's intention with keeping the oven for the future restaurant is so guests can have an even richer experience by providing authentic Armenian cuisine. This is also important to Gar and his family because apart from their guesthouse they typically redirect their guests to other businesses; however, with the new restaurant people within his village, locals and guests alike, will be able to come together, break bread, and enjoy one another’s company. Gar intends to use materials suitable to withstand every season as well as reuse some materials from the previous building. The restaurant is so much more than stimulating income, rather it is an endeavor to help foster and develop the local community so everyone can come together and benefit from one another.

Thus, the grant received by The Edge of the World did not stop there, it extended to the Patyan family and beyond to the people of the village of Norashen.

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