Baku, Azerbaijan, July 4
By Ilkin Izzet - Trend:
The first European Games will significantly contribute to the development of tourism sector of Azerbaijan, head of the information and public relations department of the ministry of culture and tourism of Azerbaijan Vugar Shikhammadov told Trend July 3.
He said that the first European Games in Baku served to the promotion of tourism industry in Azerbaijan at the highest level.
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.
Shikhammadov went on to add that even prior to the launch of the first European Games, the amount of attention towards Azerbaijan online has increased.
"Those, who have left and who are still in the country, are very impressed with Azerbaijan, our hospitality, cordiality of people," he said. ""I believe that we will see the successful results of all this either in late 2015, when the winter tourist season begins, or in the next summer season."
He added that athletes, reporters and other foreign visitors are also potential tourists.
The European Games kicked off in Baku June 12 and wrapped up on June 28. Baku 2015 First European Games hosted 20 sports - 16 Olympic and four non-Olympic sports.
More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe came to Baku to represent their nations over 17 days of competition. Baku was awarded the games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012.