Science and research play an important role in the sustainable development of tourism worldwide. This role, as well as the link between science, practice and politics, were strengthened in Armenia and Georgia by the CaucaSusT project. The project partners from Austria IMC UAS Krems and BOKU shared with local partners their expertise in the area of sustainable tourism development as well as their experience in transdisciplinary research in order to create a suitable model for tourism research and teaching in these countries. Together with the Tbilisi State University and the Armenian State Pedagogical University, current problems of the sustainable tourism development in the pilot regions were identified and integrated into the university courses through case studies and field research. These transdisciplinary research and teaching methods provided students with insights into reality and facilitated concrete solutions for the local tourism economy.
The Academic Partnership between University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, (Lead Institution) IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, Tbilisi State University and the Armenian State University will enable the project partners in Armenia and Georgia to address real problems of sustainable development - focusing on tourism development - in cooperation with the local population and other stakeholders. On a wider scale, the Academic Partnership will strengthen cooperation on academic activities on tourism development in the Caucasus region, and facilitate better coordination, coherence and integration of research outcomes into public policy in this field, via cooperating with and supporting activities of the regional Scientific Network for the Caucasus Mountain Region. The overall project goal is contribution to Capacity building for the universities in transdisciplinary teaching (case study teaching format, interdepartmental cooperation etc).
The Project is funded by the Austrian Partnership Programme in Higher Education and Research for Development (APPEAR) under the fifth call, implemented by the Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD).