In the Spring of 2015, ONEArmenia (1A), a non­profit organization focused on stimulating positive social and economic change in Armenia, created a guide that helped thousands of people­­both tourists and locals­­get Inside Yerevan. Now, as their upcoming/current campaign reveals, the organization demonstrates that it’s ready to get outside. 1A’s latest crowdfunding campaign is called HIKEArmenia?and its main goal is to drive travelers’ activity outside Yerevan to the landscape and local communities beyond Armenia’s industrial capital.

HIKEArmenia is an initiative that has been on the organization’s backburner for the last several years, according to 1A Founder and Digital Marketing Specialist, Patrick Sarkissian. He says 1A will be collaborating with experts across multiple industries to develop the hiking industry from the inside­out.

The idea stems from the sad truth that thousands of hiking trails exist in Armenia, yet only a handful of them are marked. And even then, the country lacks any kind of standard procedure for doing so, making some of Armenia’s most beautiful regions inaccessible to most people visiting the country for the first time. Few networks exist to connect Armenia’s countrysides to the outside world and even worse, the people living in villages throughout these regions have, for decades, suffered the social and economic consequences of the poor exposure. But these areas have so much to offer the rest of the world. Outside of breathtaking landscapes and natural beauty, scattered throughout Armenia’s countrysides lie hundreds of relics from an ancient history that goes back thousands of years. All this remains pretty much undiscovered by international travelers, who have trouble finding this small, post­Soviet Republic on a map, let alone finding the hidden treasures within its borders.

That’s why the first step in HIKEArmenia campaign will see 1A teaming up with local hiking experts to crowd fund for the marking of several trails in Armenia according to international standards, voted on by the community of hikers living in Armenia today.

The second phase of the project will create a platform via a mobile application that will incorporate the following features: 1) interactive maps of key hikes throughout Armenia, featuring important background info, historical significance, and logistical info about the hike (altitude, length, difficulty) and 2) The ability for users to track and upload their own hikes, leave feedback on hikes (pictorial as well as written), and access recommendations of local hiking guides, restaurants, local places to stay, villages to stop by, and community organizations doing awesome things in Armenia’s more remote regions.

“Sounds ambitious? It is. And the organization is excited to take some big steps into new territory, both for themselves and for Armenia, but their month long campaign needs your support. Will you take ONE step forward with them? Visit their campaign page, educate yourself on the project, and make a contribution today.

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