Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov. 4 / Trend A. Akhundov /
The growth of the Azerbaijani tourism industry will reach 10-15 percent in late 2010 compared to last year, Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev said.
"Our growth rate meets and even exceeds expectations," he said.
The growth rate was 13.5 percent over the first six months of 2010 compared to the same period last year.
"This is a sound figure and we are working to further improve this number," Garayev said. "I think we will preserve this level of growth in the future."
He added that the priority regions for attracting tourists are Europe and Asia.
"We plan to increase the tourist flow from the Gulf and the Far East, such as China, Korea and Japan," he said. "The flow of tourists from these countries is important to us."
He stressed that domestic tourism exceeds foreign tourism in Azerbaijan. The summer season indices for domestic tourism exceeded the same period last year by 25 percent.
About 20 new travel agencies were created in Azerbaijan this year. At present, about 230 companies have bene licensed to work in tourism, the minister said.