Incoming tourism to Azerbaijan increases by 40 percent over last ten years
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 7 / Trend A. Akhundov /
The number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan increased by 40 percent over the last ten years, according to a report on "Azerbaijan's tourism sector" prepared by Eldar Aslanov, an expert in the field of tourism, with the support of the Azerbaijani-Turkish Businessmen Association.
Aslanov has headed a research center under the Institute of Tourism, created by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the UN Development Programme, since 2007.
"More than 1.4 million tourists visited Azerbaijan in the last ten years," Aslanov said at the presentation of the report today.
According to data cited in the report, the number of enterprises with licenses for tourist activities in Azerbaijan is 123. The number of hotels is now 370.
The number of outgoing tourists from Azerbaijan fell after 2007.
"This is related to the development of domestic tourism," Aslanov said.
The report said that nature reserves, wildlife sanctuaries and national parks now comprise 10.3 percent of Azerbaijan's territory. Azerbaijan also has up to 250 lakes.
"These areas can also be used as commercial objects," Aslanov said.
He said that the coastline of Azerbaijan is 713km but only 50km is used for tourism.
"Azerbaijan has all conditions to develop the beach, island, sports, and fishing types of tourism," he said.
He said that the list of Azerbaijan's protected monuments, prepared by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, includes up to 7,000 monuments of local, national and international importance.
"There are more than 1,000 religious monuments, including Christian, Zoroastrian and mostly Muslim monuments. All this creates great opportunities to develop historical and religious tourism," he said.
The report provides information about the institutional foundations of the tourism sector and the legal basis of Azerbaijan in the sphere of tourism. The document also explores the development of tourism in the country, problems hampering this and ways to resolve them.