Important that First European Games to take place in Azerbaijan - Council of Europe
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 25
By Elchin Mehdiyev - Trend:
It is important that the First European Games will take place in Azerbaijan, Director of Democratic Citizenship and Participation at the Council of Europe Jean-Christophe Bas told Trend May 25.
He said that Azerbaijan will greatly benefit from the European Games.
Holding first European Games in Azerbaijan is also continuation of the forum on cultural understanding, he said.
"I think that Azerbaijan has been willing to provide the venue for the celebration of sports and values the sport which is bringing people from all around Europe and also all around the world together to celebrate those values of common vision," Bas said.
"I think it is interesting, because sport and the games are about a very proud approach," Jean-Christophe Bas said. "I mean people want their country to win. People are willing to promote their country and in a way, their identity, and also all together celebrate beyond the national perspective."
"I think the challenge for us today is to find a right combination between essence of cultural identity, belonging in peace and respect in a broader entity," he said.
Bas believes many people who would come here for the first time will discover obviously a country with heritage, with history, with good combination of tradition and modernity.
"So I think this will be probably contribute to better knowledge about Azerbaijan and obviously to develop the tourism industry, international visibility and profile of the country."
Azerbaijan's tourism potential is increasing as does the flow of tourists into the country. As Azerbaijan's Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfaz Garayev said at the Caspian Energy Forum - 2015, the country aims to increase the flow of tourists by 30-40 percent within several years. Garayev said Azerbaijan plans to be receiving some 5 million of tourists annually by 2020.
Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place on June 12-28, 2015.
There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.
Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.