By Nigar Orujova
The First European Games and 4th Islamic Solidarity Games, which will be held in Baku, are a very big opportunity for Azerbaijan to develop relations with other countries.
The statement came from Khaled Al-Aboodi, the chairman of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of Private Sector, which is part of the Islamic Development Bank, on May 5.
“This is a great opportunity for people from different countries to know each other and exchange experiences,” he said.
“People have heard about Azerbaijan, but if they do not come here, they will not be able to really know the country. For me personally, Azerbaijan is one of the most fascinating countries in the world,” the chairman said.
Holding such events may also contribute to additional inflow of investments, Al-Aboodi stressed.
“Tourists who will visit Azerbaijan, will tell about the country to others, and in the future this may attract new investors as well,” he said. “I think that holding such big events is a very good step [for Azerbaijan].”
He went on to add that for him it is not the first visit to the country. “I have already been to Azerbaijan, but having been here once, one wants to come back here again and again.”
Azerbaijan's tourism potential is increasing as does the flow of tourists into the country. Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfaz Garayev said earlier that the country aims to increase the flow of tourists by 30-40 percent within several years.
Azerbaijan plans to receive some 5 million of tourists annually by 2020 and holding international events will only contribute to this goal.
The inaugural European Games Baku 2015 is an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent. It will take place on June 12-28, gathering over 6,000 athletes to compete in 20 sports.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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