By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan and Spain must involve private companies in the development of cooperation in tourism between the two countries, Charge d'affaires ad interim of Spanish embassy in Baku, Ignacio Sanchez Taboada, has told Trend.
"Both sides are interested in more intensive relations between private companies in the field of tourism. Over 80 million tourists visited Spain in 2018. It is the second most visited country in the world and has one of the best tourism industries with assets around the globe.
“Nevertheless, the number of Azerbaijani visitors to Spain is insignificant, probably less than 50,000 a year," Taboada said.
He noted that the two countries can achieve a lot by cooperating with each other.
"Spain has a long tradition in vocational training in the hospitality industry and gastronomy which could be used by Azerbaijan's growing industry," the embassy official concluded.
The opening of the Azerbaijani Embassy in Spain in 2007 and the Spanish Embassy in Azerbaijan in 2014 played a crucial role in the development of relations between the two countries in the fields of trade and tourism.
There are great prospects between Azerbaijan and Spain, particularly in the field of non-oil sector. Steps have been taken to increase the people-to-people contacts, expand legal-treaty base to open up new prospects for the promotion of cooperation between the two countries.
Azerbaijan is engaged in the efforts to diversify the non-oil economy, and tourism industry is one of the promising sectors to contribute to the achievement of this ambitious goal.
In January-July 2019, as many as 1.8 million foreign tourists visited Azerbaijan, which is 122,000 people or 7.4 percent more than in the same period of 2018.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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