Azerbaijan – one of world’s most interesting tourist destinations

Azerbaijan – one of world’s most interesting tourist destinations

Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 16

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:

The new year has started with new victories for Azerbaijan, in particular, in the tourism sector. Baku receives a tourist flow from the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) and Arabic countries, Europe and Asia. It is obvious that recently, tourism has become the dynamically developing sphere in Azerbaijan. The simplification of the visa obtaining procedure for entering Azerbaijan has become the major momentum for the development of tourism. Of course, even before that Azerbaijan has been visited with pleasure by tourists from the CIS countries, Iran and Turkey, however, Azerbaijan has experienced the tourism boom relatively recently, after the government’s timely decision on the visa simplification and opening of flights of the national low cost air carrier and other cheap flights.

By the way, along with the Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL), planes of such air carriers as Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Aeroflot and others carry out flights to Baku.

Sociopolitical stability in Azerbaijan is also an important and attractive factor, while the neighboring countries in the Caspian region, which traditionally hosted a part of the tourists from the CIS countries and the Arab states, lack this advantage.

All of the above-mentioned became a reality due to decisions and programs approved by Azerbaijan’s government to develop priority spheres of the non-oil sector of the country’s economy.

The recent moves of Azerbaijan’s government to develop the country’s tourism sector are absolutely timely and vital for the national economy’s development. This is extremely important given the fact that Baku is firmly growing the non-oil economy by developing such sectors as agriculture, industry, transport and of course, tourism.

In December 2016, Azerbaijan identified four main priorities in the development of the tourism sector until 2020.

This issue has been indicated in the "Strategic road map for the development of specialized tourism industry in Azerbaijan", published in the country’s official press.

According to the document, the first priority is to fully use Baku’s tourism potential, as the capital has a more developed infrastructure, attracts a large number of foreign tourists.

Moreover, other objectives indicated in the road map envisage a more favorable sphere for the development of tourism and recreation sector in Azerbaijan through the implementation of regional initiatives.

And tourism may be the most promising sphere as beauty of Azerbaijan’s nature, mountains, sea and pleasant climate are as attractive as the European countries.

In other words, Azerbaijan, which has a developed tourism infrastructure, nine climate zones and five UNESCO world heritage sites, can very quickly and successfully occupy its own niche in the global tourism market.

Azerbaijan has for many years attracted investment in the hotel business which is why such brands as Hilton, Hyatt, Sheraton, Kempinski, Marriott, Fairmont and Four Seasons are currently presented in Baku.

Moreover, the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games will take place in Baku on May 12-22. The Games are expected to be attended by about 3,500 athletes from the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. The athletes will be accommodated in the Athletes village, built for the Baku 2015 European Games.

According to the forecasts specified in the Road Map, holding various tourism events in Baku will ensure the GDP growth by 230 million manats by 2020.

Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency's Russian News Service

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