Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 21
By Gulgiz Muradova – Trend:
Establishing direct flights between India and Azerbaijan would greatly enhance flow of businessmen and tourists, Indian Ambassador Sanjay Rana told Trend in an interview.
Rana stressed that the direct flights would create new business opportunities in tourism, medical services and people to people links.
"Indians are increasingly traveling abroad in large numbers and they constitute an important portion of international travelers. Indian tourists are generally very cosmopolitan. Besides the US and Europe, they love to visit new destinations. Azerbaijan, particularly Baku, is gaining popularity as a new tourist destination, which more and more Indians would like to visit," the ambassador said.
The ambassador believes that the e-visa by ASAN service started last year has done wonders for the tourism.
"I see many Indian tourists in Baku whenever I visit the Old City, or the Fountain Square or Ateshgah. Even the locations outside Baku, such as Gabala, Sheki and Shahdag are popular among Indians. Though there are flights connections via other countries, the lack of direct flights between Baku and Indian cities has been a limiting factor for the tourism. If we have direct flights between India and Azerbaijan, we would see much larger number of Indian tourists coming here as Baku, and Azerbaijan has so much to attract the tourists," the ambassador said.
Rana stressed that promoting tourism from Azerbaijan to India is a priority for us.
"Easier and faster travel by direct flights could do wonders to flow of tourists between India and Azerbaijan. Besides the possibility of scheduled flights we have also been talking to entrepreneurs looking at the possibility of starting chartered commercial flights. This would be a great boost for the tourists from both sides. This, off course , would depend on developing reasonably priced packages to suit the requirements of the tourists," the ambassador said.