Azerbaijan may become attractive destination for Czech tourists

Azerbaijan may become attractive destination for Czech tourists

Baku, Azerbaijan, March. 1

By Seba Aghayeva – Trend:

Azerbaijan certainly has the potential to be an attractive destination for Czech tourists, Czech Ambassador to Azerbaijan Vitezslav Pivonka said in an interview with Trend.

"Of course, after any positive changes in visa regime it is possible to expect increased flow of tourists into the country," he said.

On Jan. 10, 2017, Azerbaijan introduced the ASAN Visa system, which makes it possible for foreigners and stateless persons to get an e-visa to the country through a single online portal within three days without applying to state organizations.

Pivonka noted that Czech tourists prefer to engage in various activities during their holidays.

"Among the most popular of those activities are hiking, cycling, climbing, etc.," he said.

He went on to add that Azerbaijan needs facilities to support this kind of activities.

For example, such facilities are developed very well in Georgia, which became popular destination for many European tourists, including those from the Czech Republic, Pivonka said.

The Czech tourists prefer active style of holiday, he noted.

"No doubt, the geographical position of Azerbaijan on the coast of the Caspian Sea and at the southern part of the Caucasus mountain range will prove appealing to the Czech tourists, but at the same time it is necessary to provide our tourists with the possibility to visit historical monuments, national parks or other attractive places of your country," he said.

Pivonka added that he and his family also like active style of holidays.

"For holidays and relaxation we prefer mountains and Azerbaijan has a lot to offer in this regard," he noted. "Your nature is really splendid and very diverse. I have a lot of friends among Azerbaijanis, I like their openness and patriotism."

He said that the choice of a place for holiday certainly depends on individual taste and preferences.

"To those who like nature I would recommend Azerbaijani mountains and national parks," he noted. "Those who prefer history should head to Gobustan (Rock Art Cultural Landscape), Shaki (city), Lahij or Khinalig (villages)."

Speaking about Azerbaijani cuisine, the Czech ambassador said he is not sure that the Czechs are well versed in it.

The Czechs don’t know that meals like shashlik (skewered meat), kebab (small cubes of meat or fish threaded on a skewer and grilled), piti soup (a type of meat broth) or plov (cooked rice) are so closely connected with Azerbaijan, he added.

He noted that there are some Azerbaijani restaurants in Prague.

Luckily enough the Czech beer can be found in several restaurants in Azerbaijan, he said, adding that in many Azerbaijani stores one can find the examples of Czech grocery products.

Speaking about investment climate in the Czech Republic, Pivonka said that it is very favorable one.

"Our economy is growing steadily, we were actually the second fastest growing economy of the European Union in 2015 and our tourism industry has changed fundamentally during the last decade," he noted.

The importance of the tourism industry from the national economy point of view has risen as well, and this industry accounts for about 3 percent of the Czech Republic’s GDP, he said.

In the Czech Republic, the agenda of investment subsidies is centralized under the CzechInvest Business and Investment Development Agency (http://www.czechinvest.org/en), he added.

"I would recommend to all potential investors, not only those interested in tourism, to familiarize themselves with the various forms of investors support which are available in the Czech Republic," Pivonka said.

"I can confirm that Azerbaijanis have been expressing a lively interest in the Czech real estate market for some time now," he added. "I would say that the reason behind it comes from the fact that the Czech Republic is a stable country in the middle of European Union with very favorable living conditions."

What can no doubt influence the decisions of any potential buyers are comparatively low prices of property in relation to other Central European countries and traditionally high standards of the construction work, he said.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Asebaa

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