Amalya Akopova: “I will be permanently returning to Armenia very soon”

Every investment made in the Homeland says a lot about patriotism. It helps create jobs in Armenia, enhances this or that sector to a certain extent and helps an investor gain profits as well. One of those investors is the young and active Amalya Akopova, who amazed and charmed me with her ideologically very mature and unique working style, on which my questions were based.

Karine Avagyan: Amalya, where do you live and work?

Amalya Akopova: I live and work in Yerevan and Moscow. In Yerevan I am the founder of the “Vardanush Tatik” (Grandmother Vardanush) tour operator and travel agency. In Moscow I am the editor-in-chief and creative producer of the First Channel of Moscow. I am a linguist by profession and specialize in German and English, but right after I graduated, I started working in television. Of course, my knowledge of languages has definitely helped me, especially in the field of tourism.

Karine Avagyan: Amalya, why did you choose the name “Vardanush Tatik” (Grandmother Vardanush)? Is the travel agency named after a relative of yours?

Amalya Akopova: I named the company after one of my grandmothers. Besides, almost all travel agencies in Yerevan begin with the word “Travel”, and I wanted my travel agency to differ from the rest.

Karine Avagyan: What is your ultimate goal in the field?

Amalya Akopova: I want to have the trip to Armenia turn into a celebration for tourists visiting Armenia from different corners of the globe. My goal is to form a unique image of tourism in Armenia. I am currently working in that direction. Even in Russia where people know the Armenians very well and Armenia is presented very well, if you stop an average person on the street and ask him what he knows or thinks about Armenia, he will tell you things that are 70 percent inaccurate. It is sad, but most of them think Armenia is a Muslim country. This means that we Armenians are not presenting our country the right way. It is our duty to present our culture to people, and if people don’t know us, it means we are not presenting Armenia and Armenians well. One of the ways of doing that is organizing interesting and attractive travel programs. Our company currently has five employees. This is a new business and the first travel agency that has decided to accommodate all tourists of Armenia in homes, not hotels.

Karine Avagyan: Amala, do you feel lucky?

Amala Akopova: Yes, for now, thank God!

Karine Avagyan: When did you establish friendly ties with the RA Ministry of Diaspora?

Amalya Akopova: Since I am a potential repatriate, that is, if I am already referred to as a repatriate, then I will be permanently returning to Armenia very soon. I have met with President of RepatArmenia Vardan Marashlyan, who motivated me by telling me about all the positive changes in Armenia. We are carrying out cultural programs. Through RepatArmenia, we hold events in the restaurants of repatriates once a month. We started with Lebanon Restaurant and moved on to Mandalun. The next restaurant is Nor Gyugh (New Village) Restaurant where we will be holding an event/meeting in mid-February. The restaurant belongs to a young Armenian who repatriated from Moscow 13 years ago. It is very important for me to support these people and show them the achievements that other repatriates have made in the Homeland. Alongside giving master culinary classes at restaurants, preparing and serving dishes and appetizers, those repatriates also share their stories about why and when they settled in the Homeland and how they adapted to the new conditions. Guests can ask questions.

Karine Avagyan: Who are your sponsors? Who helps you financially?

Amalya Akopova: As I already said, I also work in Moscow so that I can make a contribution to my own business. I have never asked anyone for help in Armenia. I think it is normal for anyone who starts his own business and wants to make an investment in his Homeland.

Karine Avagyan: Thank you, Amalya! We will be waiting to hear about your successes in your preferred sphere of activity.

Karine Avagyan

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