EU to assist Azerbaijan in improving legal framework in tourism field
Azerbaijan, Baku, April 4 / Trend, A. Akhundov /
The European Union (EU) will assist Azerbaijan in improving the legal framework for the development of tourism. This implies a new twinning project entitled 'Strengthening the capacity of the tourism department of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan' which was presented in Baku on Thursday. Twinning partners of Azerbaijan on the project are Austria and Lithuania.
The ultimate goal of the project is to increase the role of the tourism sector in the process of the diversification of Azerbaijan's economy. The project consists of four components: improvement of the internal structure and workings of the department; assistance to Azerbaijan in the completion of the draft of the new law on tourism, as well as in drafting 15 laws and regulations in the field of tourism; promoting the development of national marketing strategies in tourism and the plan for the training and development of personnel of tourism industry, the introduction of a new system of tourism statistics; the development of a model for creation of recreational areas in the country.
According to the Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfas Garayev, speaking at the presentation of the twinning project, the development of tourism in Azerbaijan requires new approaches and new models.
"We are exploring new ways to develop the sector, in what this project will assist us. One of today's major challenges is to improve the system of management of the sector and make it more flexible. Today, tourism is one of the priorities of our economic diversification. The new geostrategic situation in the tourism sector contributed to more flexible response to these changes. Two days ago, we received the draft law 'On tourism' from the WTO, that will be submitted to parliament after consideration," Garayev said.
According to the head of the EU Delegation to Azerbaijan Roland Kobia, this project demonstrates the strong relations between Azerbaijan and the European Union.
Kobia said a 10 percent share of the tourism sector in GDP is quite an optimal indicator. According to the World Economic Forum, the GDP of the tourism industry in Azerbaijan in 2012 reached $ 1.1 billion, representing 1.9 percent of total GDP, and the production of value added in the tourism economy has reached $4.12 billion (6, 9 percent).