The Wings of Tatev project has won one of the most prestigious international awards in the field of tourism — the World Travel Awards. The Armenian cable car is recognized as the best in the world, beating competitors from Bolivia, Brazil, Vietnam, Canada, New Zealand, the USA and South Africa.
On 1 December 2023, the 30th award ceremony for the esteemed World Travel Awards winners took place in Dubai. According to the results of an open vote, Wings of Tatev won 1st place in the “World’s Leading Cable Car Ride” nomination. David Vardanyan, the son of Ruben Vardanyan, the founder of the Wings of Tatev project, received the honorary award at the ceremony.
The World Travel Awards is often called the “Travel Oscar”. It was established in 1993 and since then has served as a benchmark for excellence in the travel and hospitality industry. This marks the second time that “Wings of Tatev” has been recognized as “World’s Leading Cable Car Ride” globally; the first award was granted to Armenia in 2021.
“My father, Ruben Vardanyan, dedicated his whole life to helping people. He implemented many large charitable, social, educational, and infrastructure projects that changed the quality of life of people in Armenia but also around the world. A striking example of this is the construction of the Wings of Tatev, the longest cable car in the world leading to the wonderful medieval monastery complex of Tatev. This had a great impact both on the development of the region, making it attractive from a tourist point of view, and on the quality of life for the local population. He should have been the one receiving this award but as many of you know, he and dozens of Armenians are illegally detained by the Azerbaijani authorities for political reasons and currently held in a Baku prison. I hope that he will soon be able to receive the next awards himself,” said David Vardanyan.
“Receiving such prestigious international recognition for the second time is a great honor for our entire team. Our mission is to introduce Tatev to people and provide them with an exceptional experience. This award strengthens Armenia’s status as a leading tourist destination and plays an important role in promoting the country as a whole and Tatev in particular in the international tourism arena,” commented Mariia Butenko, the director of Impulse Business Management, which operates the cable car.
Over 13 years of operation, Wings of Tatev has welcomed more than 1 million visitors. Every 5th guest of the country includes a cable car in their route, thanks to which the tourist flow to the Syunik region has increased 17 times compared to 2010.
Wings of Tatev not only reveals previously inaccessible parts of Armenia to travelers but also elevates the country’s recognition. It was included in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest passenger cable car in the world (5752 meters). Another notable achievement is the shortest construction period for such a large-scale engineering structure (10 months). The construction of Wings of Tatev was carried out by the Austrian-Swiss company Doppelmayr/Garaventa, a leader in the field of ropeway construction. Every year, the Wings of Tatev is successfully tested for compliance with international safety standards.
The Wings of Tatev project is part of “Tatev Revival” program, initiated by Ruben Vardanyan and Veronika Zonabend. The cable car is a non-profit project, and all its proceeds are directed towards the restoration of the Tatev Monastery and community development. The cable car is managed by Impulse Business Management.