Noosh Guesthouse Focuses on Domestic Tourism to Survive

"Noosh is a guesthouse and national restaurant located in Ashnak village of Aragatsotn Province, on the north-south side of Yerevan Gyumri highway. Here you can taste national food, participate in different master classes and just enjoy the fresh air."

Located about an hour outside of Yerevan sits the village of Ashnak, in the Aragatsotn Province of Armenia. This village has a long and rich history dating back to the 5th century. Noosh Guesthouse is just one of the many gems located in this village. In 2019, Ani and Gayane, two young girls and best friends, decided to renovate the house that Ani’s grandfather had built nearly 50 years prior into Noosh Guesthouse. “Nush” the Armenian word for Almond is representative of the Almond trees that surround the house.

The entire family is involved in running the Guesthouse. With Ani and Gayane at the helm and Ani’s Aunt in the kitchen, the family offers master classes in the baking of traditional Lavash bread. This making of Lavash at Noosh has been carried on from generations past and is just one of the many ways a stay at this lovely guesthouse will immerse you in Armenian culture.

After opening in 2019 and welcoming guests from Switzerland, France, Germany, Russia and many other European countries, the business was hit hard by the sharp reduction in the number of tourists travelling in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, in June thru October, Noosh had about 300 tourists from 12 different countries visit. This year only 7 tourists from 1 country came to stay. The house employees 5 registered employees and purchases all their produce locally in order to support their community.

During this pandemic, the family has worked to try to attract local domestic tourists and also to expand their food and master class business to serve their local community. Despite their efforts, the business has struggled to get on it’s feet during this difficult time.

The Armenia Support Fund is proud to have been able to offer the family of Noosh Guesthouse a Small Business Support Grant to assist them financially during these difficult times. The money from this grant was used to help finish paying the expenses related to building renovations on the house. Without these debts, Noosh was able to neutralize some of the affects COVID-19 has had on their business and begin creatively looking for other ways to thrive.

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