More trav­el­ers choose Land of Fire

Azer News - - Front Page - By Amina Nazarli

Asharp jump in tourists flow to Azer­bai­jan can­not but re­joice both the econ­omy and the in­hab­i­tants of the coun­try.

Ho­tels, restau­rants, re­cre­ation ar­eas, and shop­ping cen­ters filled up with for­eign­ers and this shows the in­ter­est of tourists in a newly cho­sen des­ti­na­tion.

In the last two years Azer­bai­jan has re­ceived most part of all tourists from Arab coun­tries, who en­joy the mixed style of the cap­i­tal, feel­ing them­selves si­mul­ta­ne­ously on the East and Europe.

Mahir Gahra­manov, Head of De­part­ment at the Cul­ture and Tourism Min­istry, said that the num­ber of tourists ar­riv­ing in Azer­bai­jan from Jor­dan in­creased by 2 times in 2016 com­pared to 2015, while from Kuwait by 3.2 times, from Qatar by 5.5 times, from Saudi Ara­bia and Oman by 10 times, from UAE by 22 times, from Iraq by 30 times.

He made the re­marks at the event on "Tourism ex­cur­sion ser­vices. Ha­lal man­age­ment sys­tem. Ho­tels” held on April 25.

Given the won­der­ful cli­mate of Azer­bai­jan, its cul­ture, cui­sine, nature, at­trac­tions, and di­ver­sity, the num­ber tourists from Arab coun­tries into the coun­try in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly. The tourists mainly choose the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions – Baku, Ga­bala, Quba and many other cities.

The gov­ern­ment takes a se­ries of nec­es­sary mea­sures to make the coun­try a fa­vorite tourist des­ti­na­tion.

“The in­tro­duc­tion of a sim­pli­fied visa sys­tem for the coun­tries of the Per­sian Gulf, China, Korea, Ja­pan, Malaysia, and Sin­ga­pore has pos­i­tively af­fected the flow of tourists. There is a growth in tourist flow from the Mus­lim coun­tries. For in­stance, the num­ber of tourists from Iran has also dou­bled in three months of 2017 com­pared to the same pe­riod of 2016," he said.

To­day, the coun­try can ac­com­mo­date about 40,000 tourists in its 535 ho­tels, which in­clude a se­ries of lux­ury ho­tels – Ex­cel­sior, Hil­ton, Four Sea­sons, Fair­mont, JW Mar­riott, Kempin­ski – as well as sev­eral bud­get ho­tels for cost-con­scious trav­el­ers.

Some 25 hos­tels and 92 apart­ments for tourists op­er­ate in Baku, adding that all th­ese fa­cil­i­ties are pri­vate.

How­ever, the growth of tourism in Azer­bai­jan and in­creas­ing num­ber of tourists has en­cour­aged con­struc­tion of new ho­tels across the coun­try.

Gahra­manov said that 140,000 bed­rooms are not enough and their num­ber should be in­creased.

Ap­pli­ca­tion of ha­lal stan­dards in ho­tels is vol­un­tary for the coun­tries.

“There are some Mus­lim tourists, who want to stay away from the en­vi­ron­ment they have in their home­land. How­ever, 70 per­cent of them want to feel them­selves in a fa­mil­iar en­vi­ron­ment. That’s why we should be­come more at­trac­tive. And cre­ation of ha­lal stan­dards is one of th­ese ways,” he said.

The num­ber of Ira­nian cit­i­zens, who vis­ited Azer­bai­jan dur­ing Novruz hol­i­day in 2016 in­creased by 35-40 per­cent, com­pared to 2015. Along­side the cap­i­tal city Baku, Ira­nian tourists also travel dif­fer­ent re­gions such as Lankaran, Lerik, Masalli, Ga­bala and Sheki.

Tourism in Azer­bai­jan has a thou­sand-year tra­di­tion. To make sure it is enough to re­mem­ber the Great Silk Road, which con­trib­uted to not only com­mer­cial, but also cul­tural ex­change. A spe­cial surge of in­ter­est in the coun­try lo­cated on the Caspian Sea shore, how­ever, arose dur­ing the era of hy­dro­car­bon re­sources.

Sit­u­ated on the Great Silk Road, and di­vided par­tially be­tween East­ern Europe and Western Asia, Azer­bai­jan blended the best from both cul­tures, form­ing its own unique rich cul­ture, that’s why its peo­ple are nei­ther to­tally East­ern, nor to­tally Western.

Azer­bai­jan has shown high growth rates in Europe on three main cre­ation used in ho­tel busi­ness ef­fi­ciency. It was men­tioned in the ar­ti­cle en­ti­tled "Europe's ho­tel in­dus­try has shown growth in the first quar­ter of 2017" pub­lished on the por­tal pub­li­ of Por­tu­gal. The ho­tel busi­ness is mea­sured by the book­ing, the room rate, rev­enues, and price cri­te­ria.

With one of the world’s most im­proved economies in 2017 and ris­ing 13 spots in the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s global rank­ing, Azer­bai­jan's cap­i­tal saw mas­sive im­prove­ments in ho­tel per­for­mance in the first quar­ter of the year, ac­cord­ing to the STR an­a­lytic com­pany.

Ex­change rate fluc­tu­a­tions made the des­ti­na­tion cheaper for many in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors, the por­tal said. STR an­a­lysts note the per­for­mance growth is par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive con­sid­er­ing the mar­ket ex­pe­ri­enced sig­nif­i­cant sup­ply growth of 18.1 per­cent in 2015 and 6.8 per­cent in 2016.

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