Wikimania 2019 bids/Armenia

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Wikimania 2019 candidate cities:

Yerevan, Armenia | Perth, Australia | Prague, Czech Republic | Stockholm, Sweden

Wikimania.svg
WIKIMANIA 2019 YEREVAN


Mount Ararat and the Yerevan skyline.jpg
City proposed: Yerevan, Armenia.
Proposed dates: June 26-30, 2019, August 7-11.
Pre-conference June 26 - 27, 2019, August 7-8, 2019
Conference June 28-30, 2019, August 9-11, 2019
Number of participants: Up to 1 000 participants.
Contact person: Susanna Mkrtchyan

Armenia is a destination where you will be intrigued by history, awed by monuments, amazed by the landscape and charmed by local people. Armenia is the country of old legends and BIblical stories. To visit Armenia is to travel back in history and feel the spirit of more than 41 centuries, experience first hand the “country sheltered by Biblical Ararat”, home of Noah’s Ark. Armenia is the First Christian Country and has dozens of ancient monasteries and temples. Armenian Alphabet was developed in 405 AD, which enabled translation of famous scientific and literature pieces into Armenian thus making the available knowledge of that time accessible to Armenians. Biblical Ararat mount is visible from almost every corner of Yerevan which makes the landmark really amazing and leaves tourists breathless. Armenia has the longest ropeway and a zip-line in the world. Armenia is the place where one can taste diverse, organic and delicious food.

Why Armenia?

Goal[edit]

We have been building Wiki Community in our country since 2012. Year by year more and more people are becoming aware about Armenian Wikipedia, our community gets larger and knowledge based. We are now in a rising stage. In order to achieve maximum impact in dissemination of Wikipedia and attract more contributors, we need to organize larger event to attract wider audience. After organizing CEE Meeting, we have received wider outreach and publicity. Wikimania conference will be a huge step forward in bringing more people to Wiki movement in Armenia and more attention from various stakeholders.

We will involve young people from Armenia from the very first stages of event preparation and their engagement will help us to spread the word easily and promote volunteer work in Armenia.

In addition to this Wikimania in Armenia will host more wikipedians from neighboring Iran, Turkey, Georgia and former Soviet countries.

Venue[edit]

All venues proposed below are located in capital city Yerevan and will be provided for free. Here is the list of possible venues presented by order of preference. All of them are far from the Zvartnots Airport by 12-15 km.

Possible venues:

  1. American University of Armenia - Has а large auditorium (for up to 1.300 people) as well as many other auditoriums, cafeteria, open-air amphitheatre, library etc. Max distance from hotels is 2 km.
  2. Karen Demirchyan Complex - 4 km distance from downtown and main hotels. The complex has an outstanding architecture and consists of two main halls, which can host more than 1000 participants., a large foyer, suitable for catering, Hayastan conference hall and Argishti hall designated for diplomatic meetings.
  3. Yerevan Cascade & Yerevan Matenadaran - Neighborhood complexes auditorium, and several halls inside. Opening ceremony can be done outside. The tent will be provided, if the weather is hot. Nearby cafes can be used for catering. Nice architecture and a stunning view. Max distance from hotels is 1 km.

Conference venues listed above will be able to accommodate up to 1,400 participants. All conference venues mentioned above will be provided free of charge. These venues have flexible meeting spaces that can accommodate multiple tracks for five days

Internet[edit]

Armenia has a very good network infrastructure and various internet providers.

Lodging[edit]

Republic square, Yerevan

Main hotels and hostels are located in Downtown Yerevan which is 12 km far from the Zvartnots International Airport. We will transfer of all participants,no matter of the flight time, from Airport to hotels as it was done during CEE 2016 event with the support of our volunteers. As at least two options of venue are in the city center, participants will be able to walk there, to use subway, public transport or taxi (cost of 1-4 km ride is 600 AMD = 1.5 USD) to reach the venue from hotels. We can also arrange busses to transfer participants from hotels to venue. Hotel prices vary between USD 30-90; hostels between USD 10-15 per night. We were advised by organizations hosting large events in summer to book lodging at least a year in advance to secure accommodation as summer is a hot tourist season in Armenia. Besides, we will get accommodation discounts by booking in advance.

Catering[edit]

Yerevan has a number of catering companies that will accommodate all dietary requirements of participants (e.g., vegetarian, gluten-free).

Transportation[edit]

Zvartnots International airport

Here is a chart with flights and their average prices. Several charter flights to Barcelona, Rome, Heraklion and etc are operating in summer. Besides, the Government of Armenia is in negotiation process with several new Air Companies, which surely, will increase the geography of destinations by 2019 and decrease the ticket prices.

Destination Frequency of flights per week Airlines Flight duration Round trip ticket price in EUR
Paris 4 times Air France 5h15min 560
Vienna every day Austrian Airlines 3h50min 520
Warsaw 6 times LOT Polish Airlines 3h50min 210
Brussels 3 times Brussels Airlines 3h40min 440
Athens 3 times Aegean Airlines 2h45min 260
Kiev every day Ukraine International 3h10min 200
Moscow every day 6 flights a day Aeroflot 3h10min 180
Moscow every day 2 flights a day S7Airlines 2h55min 180
Minsk 2 times Belavia Belarusian Airlines 3h10min 245
Doha every day Qatar Airways 3h00min 630
Dubai every day Fly Dubai 3h10min 420
Sharjah 4 times Air Arabia 3h00min 300
Tehran 6times Mahan Air 1h 15min 230
Beirut 2 times Middle East Airlines 2h00min 330
Damascus 1times Cham Wings Airlines 2h30min 280
Astana 2times SCAT airlines 3h10min
Krasnodar every day Ural airlines 1h40min 165
Sochi 3times Aeroflot, Ural Airlines 1h15min
Rostov every day Ural airlines 1h45min 173
St.Petersburg 5 times Ural airlines 3h50min 295
Istanbul 4 times Global atlas jet 2h30min 180
Tbilisi 6 times Armenia Aircompany 0h30min 150
Tel Aviv 4 times Armenia Aircompany 2h30min 210
Voronezh 1 time Armenia Aircompany 2h10min
Mineralnie Vodi 1 time Armenia Aircompany 0h55min

Participants will arrive to Yerevan Zvartnots International Airport , which distance from Downtown and main hotels is 12km. Wikimedia Armenia will arrange participants transfer from airport to hotels though Airport shuttle and taxis are available.

Dates[edit]

Any time in July - August, except the dates of Golden Apricot international film festival taking place in Yerevan (usually second week of July) will be a good time to host the conference as the weather would be nice and fresh products widely available (famous Armenian apricots, plums, cherries, peaches etc). Proposed dates are: June 26-30 or August 7-11, 2019.

Team[edit]

We have more than 700 Wikicamp alumni, who are in touch with different projects editors, mentors, coordinators, camp leaders, 13 Wiki Clubs leaders and around 300 clubs participants. Also our camp leader is a board member of the Volunteers bank Youth NGO (http://volunteers.am/) which voluntarily provides organizational support to large events in the country.

Previous experience.
  • "Wikipedia Education Collaborative" meeting 2017
  • Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2016 (100 participants)
  • 16 WikiCamps since 2014 (around 70 per camp)
  • More than 25 Wiki loves science events (more than 30 per event)
  • 3 Wiki conferences with about 200 participants per event
  • 3 Wiki loves monuments events in 6 different regions of Armenia (around 150 participants per event)
  • Wikimedia 2030 Strategy Armenian forum hosted in August 2017 (around 100 participants)

Visa[edit]

Armenia is a visa free country for most nationals. Please see below the most updated information on visas for foreign nationals. You can see the list of countries citizens of which can obtain visa only upon invitation from an organization in Armenia, e.g Wikimedia Armenia (most African countries except for South Africa).

Visa policy of Armenia

Security and safety[edit]

Armenia is one of the safest countries in the region. Health precautions are minimal. Armenians are extremely friendly, hospitable and welcoming.

Meeting places and social life[edit]

Wikimedia Armenia, which is situated in the City center and close to many hotels, has enlarged its premises and now have a modern office of 500 sqm. This will be used as for works of organizational committee, as well as for organizing various socializing events. All mentioned venues are within proximity to restaurants, cafes. Participants can enjoy a diverse cuisine that suits all tastes (Armenian, Japanese, Italian, French, Syrian, Lebanese, Georgian, Argentinian, seafood and fusion).

Support[edit]

There are several organizations, that we collaborate with in diverse format, have preliminary agreements, that they would support Wikimania in Armenia: Armenian_General_Benevolent_Union, IDeA Foundation, Gulbenkian Foundation (already sponsors WM AM ), Tumo Centre of Creative Technologies (WM AM Board member is also Tumo's head ), Yerevan city mayor We have good connection with Ministry of Education, with National Academy of Science, with American University of Armenia and several NGO-s, so I suppose we will create Wikimania coordination council.