Arabs, Rus­sians lead among trav­el­ers to Land of Fires

Azer News - - Country Guide - By Amina Nazarli

Arab tourists hold the first po­si­tion among tourists vis­it­ing Azer­bai­jan, fol­lowed by trav­el­ers from Rus­sia, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial sta­tis­tics from Jan­uary to July 2017.

A to­tal of 1,513,000 over­seas vis­i­tors vis­ited Azer­bai­jan, also known as the Land of Fire, in the seven months of 2017. The fig­ure shows a 24-per­cent rise com­pared to 2016.

Vu­gar Shikham­madov, the spokesper­son for the Cul­ture and Tourism Min­istry, said that the largest num­ber of tourists - 330,000 peo­ple- vis­ited the coun­try in July.

Arab tourists ac­count for the largest part of for­eign tourists vis­it­ing Azer­bai­jan, fol­lowed by Rus­sian neigh­bors, he added.

To­day tourism is de­vel­op­ing with high speed in Azer­bai­jan, with a con­tri­bu­tion of 4.5 per­cent to the na­tional GDP and the num­ber of tourists head­ing to Azer­bai­jan is grow­ing from year to year.

The coun­try as­pires to en­hance its tourism share from Arab states with brand new ex­pe­ri­ences: shop­ping fes­ti­val, rail tourism and etc.

Tourism As­so­ci­a­tion Chair­man Nahid Ba­girov ex­pects more tourists from over­seas in the com­ing years.

Ba­girov said that di­rect flights from Baku to Jed­dah in Saudi Ara­bia and from Bangkok to Baku, which will soon be opened, will also in­crease the num­ber of tourists vis­it­ing Azer­bai­jan from th­ese coun­tries:

To­day, di­rect flights from Kuwait, Qatar and Dubai are car­ried out to Baku, the cap­i­tal city of Azer­bai­jan. Open­ing of new flights is also ex­pected in 2018, ac­cord­ing to Ba­girov.

Ex­perts say that ev­ery tourist chooses own way for rest. Arab tourists, for ex­am­ple, pre­fer to re­lax in a good ho­tel, take a walk in the city, do shop­ping and go to restau­rants. As for Rus­sian and Euro­pean tourists, they are more in­ter­ested in sight­see­ing tourism, cul­tural cog­ni­tive and culi­nary tourism.

For the past 10 years, the num­ber of tourists vis­it­ing Azer­bai­jan in­creased by five times. In 2016, the num­ber of tourists vis­it­ing the Land of Fire amounted to 2,242 mil­lion peo­ple and this is 11.7 per­cent more than in 2015.

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