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Azerbaijan, Israel ink tourism cooperation accord

1 April 2022 10:59 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan, Israel ink tourism cooperation accord

By Sabina Mammadli

Azerbaijan and Israel have signed an accord on cooperation in tourism, Azerbaijani State Tourism Agency Chairman Fuad Naghiyev has said on Twitter.

"Today we signed an agreement on cooperation in the field of tourism with our Israeli counterpart Yoel Razvozov. I believe that this agreement will contribute to the development and strengthening of bilateral ties in the field of tourism", Naghiyev tweeted.

Under the agreement, the parties will expand cooperation in historical, digital, ecological, adventure tourism, and promote trips to cultural heritage and religious sites.

The agreement will establish relations between tourism authorities, associations, organizations, and relevant companies in the two countries.

Azerbaijani tourism office in Tel Aviv

The agency earlier announced the opening of its official representation at Herbert Samuel Dock in Tel Aviv. The new office reflects its strategy to embrace the opportunity for change and invites travelers to take a new look at what Azerbaijan has to offer in this new era.

On the occasion of the office's opening ceremony in Tel Aviv on March 30, Naghiyev said that the new tourism office in Israel will enhance Azerbaijani-Israeli tourism relations.

He stated that the mission's activities will help to raise awareness about Azerbaijan in Israel and strengthen bilateral tourism ties.

Nagiyev noted cultural and historical ties, mutual friendship, and understanding between nations play an important role in the development of tourism relations, in addition to economic and strategic factors.

Multicultural country

He emphasized that Azerbaijan is a tolerant and multicultural country where many ethnic groups coexist and that Azerbaijanis and Jews have lived together for centuries and developed shared values.

The agency's chairman emphasized that Jewish heritage is still preserved in Baku, Guba, Ismayilli, Oguz, and other regions, emphasizing that Krasnaya Sloboda (Red Village) in Guba is the only place outside of Israel where mountain Jews live compactly.

Work has been done in collaboration with the Israeli embassy in Azerbaijan to develop and improve tourist routes in the area inhabited by mountain Jews in Krasnaya Sloboda (Red village) of the Guba region.

The agency's chairman expressed confidence that Israeli tourists will soon be able to visit liberated Karabakh.

Speaking at the event, the Israeli tourism minister stated that the opening of Azerbaijan's trade mission and tourism office in August 2021, as well as the opening of the Tel Aviv office, will serve to strengthen bilateral relations between Azerbaijan and Israel and expand tourism ties.

Meetings were held during the exhibition with relevant partners to establish new contacts and collaborate in order to meet more Israeli tourists in the near future.

Big step

Meanwhile, Israeli ambassador to Azerbaijan George Deek highly evaluated the opening of the tourism office in Tel Aviv.

"Azerbaijan opens its Tourism Representative Office in Israel - big step in deepening relations between our countries," he tweeted.

During the exhibition, Razvozov visited the Azerbaijani national stand and became acquainted with the tourism products on display.

It should be noted that the State Tourism Agency has taken a number of measures to develop the tourism potential of the historical Jewish heritage. Thus, a tourism route has been prepared for this heritage.

In addition, the Azerbaijani delegation, organized by the State Tourism Agency, took part in the International Mediterranean Tourism Market (IMTM 2022) exhibition in Tel Aviv on March 29-30.

The delegation, represented by Azerbaijan Airlines, the Museum of Mountain Jews, the Tourism Department of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and nine other local partners, demonstrated Azerbaijan's tourism potential, as well as Karabakh's tourism potential at the event.

The number of Israeli citizens visiting Azerbaijan in 2019 amounted to 47,000. This number signifies an increase of 17.3 percent compared to 2018. Although this number declined sharply during the pandemic, it began to increase steadily in 2021 with the gradual opening of borders.

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