By Leman Mammadova
Azerbaijan, which is rapidly gaining a title of popular destination for many travel lovers, is doing everything possible for the comfort of the country's guests.
A number of important projects related to different aspects of holidaymakers' stay in country is being implemented.
An interactive map of the Baku Metro will be available to users of Android devices in early 2019, project manager Shamkhal Bayramov told Trend.
He said that the mobile application is primarily focused on tourists and guests of the capital.
"The interface will be in Russian, Azerbaijani and English. Users of the mobile application will be able to choose the best route by specifying the starting and final points of their trip. Information about the arrival time of the train and the length of the route will be available," he noted.
Bayramov also added that, at present, work is also underway to improve the online guidebook BakuBus.
The application is an online guide that allows you to track in real time the movement of buses along the route on the map of Baku. Users of this application can plan trips, choose a bus route and get information about which bus follows the specified route.
"At the beginning of next year, the application will have additional functions," he said. "For example, it will be possible to get information about the distance between the bus stop and the arriving bus. It will also be possible to choose the best route by specifying the starting and final points of trip."
In the modern world, tourism is one of the most dynamically developing and profitable sectors of the economy for each country. Azerbaijan is developing new strategies to expand its tourism sector and cooperation with foreign countries in this field.
In recent years, the creation of a diversified tourism infrastructure in Azerbaijan has increased the interest of foreign tourists to the country. There are many opportunities for tourism in our country, including rural, health, environmental, cultural, social, commercial, sport and etc.
Earlier, spokesman for the State Tourism Agency Kenan Guluzade informed that State Tourism Agency is working on developing a document on attracting foreign investment in the tourism sector of Azerbaijan, that is planned to be completed by the end of 2019.
Guluzade noted that the document is a concept for attracting investments in rural tourism, adding, that this type of tourism is considered promising and profitable.
"In the coming years, we intend to promote this type of tourism in Azerbaijan by attracting foreign tourists. After visiting villages in the country’s districts, tourists will review local customs," he said.
The beautiful nature of Azerbaijan, hospitality of its people, the country's capital with its super modern and ancient buildings draws the attention of all tourists visiting this South Caucasian country.
The growing popularity of Azerbaijan among foreign tourists has led to the emergence of a new trend in the field of local hospitality - rural tourism which is also called "agricultural tourism" or "green" tourism as well as the traditional tourism types. The country’s regions began to attract more and more foreign and local tourists, wishing to familiarize with non-western culture and different lifestyle, which they find in rural areas.
Rural tourism is a type of tourism accompanied by the provision of information on the placement, feeding, transportation, recreation of tourists, as well as the rich natural, historical and cultural values of rural areas. Rural tourism involves temporary stay of tourists in the countryside for recreation. Here, tourists can enjoy fascinating walks and hiking, bathing in ponds located near.
Especially, for the people of the big megacities it is very attractive to relax in a quiet green corner away from the noise of the city. This type of tourism has been successfully practiced in Europe, especially in Italy.
Rural tourism is not just farm-based tourism, and comprises special interest nature holidays sport and health tourism.
Today health tourism is also developing in Azerbaijan as a new direction of tourism, with the existing great potential. Health tourism is gaining momentum in the country. Tourists who are visiting Azerbaijan for treatment, do not attach much importance to season, and visit the country both in summer and winter.
The tourism development strategy in Azerbaijan provides for effective use of the potential of all regions of the country in this area.
An important role in the development of this area is played by the Azerbaijan Tourism Association, Azerbaijan Convention Bureau, the Association of Health and Thermal Tourism, the Association of Rural Tourism and other organizations.
Recently, an agreement was signed to launch official foreign tourism offices of Azerbaijan in six foreign countries, Germany, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India and China.
It is also expected that the development of cruise tourism in the Caspian Sea will boost Azerbaijan’s tourism potential.
In January-October 2018, 2,420,400 foreigners and stateless persons from 194 countries arrived in Azerbaijan, and this indicates a 6.1 percent growth compared to the same period of 2017. Russians made up the majority of the tourists who visited Azerbaijan. As many as 31.1 percent of the tourists came from Russia.
According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, 2 691 998 foreign tourists visited Azerbaijan last year, which is 20 percent more than in 2016.
Simplification of visa regime also plays a major role in the development of tourism in Azerbaijan. Currently, citizens of a number of countries get visas right at the Azerbaijani airports, while other tourists can visit the country by getting online tourist visas.
Azerbaijan aims to develop tourism sphere by all possible means. Sustainable development of the non-oil sector, in particular the tourism sector, is crucial at a time when it is impossible to fully rely on oil and gas industry.
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