By Amina Nazarli
Azerbaijan, the pearl of the Caucasus, will welcome more tourists as President Ilham Aliyev signed a decree to reinvigorate the country's travel industry.
The presidential decree dated February 20 instructs relevant government institutions to ensure timely implementation of the goals defined in the document, which will be a fresh boost for tourism.
The Customs Committee was tasked with creation of appropriate infrastructure for special lanes to ensure a rapid transition of foreigners and stateless persons through the checkpoints on the state border with Russia, Turkey, Iran and Georgia.
"ASAN Service", Azerbaijan’s leading e-Government institution acting on behalf and in cooperation with other state entities in public service provision, should facilitate a visa application procedure for foreigners and stateless persons through ASAN terminals and ASAN Visa system directly at all the checkpoints of the state border.
The decree also stipulates organization of sea cruises in the Caspian Sea. To this end, the Foreign Ministry and Customs Committee should negotiate with Iran to increase the duration of operation of the crossing points on the border between the two countries.
More and more tourists are choosing Azerbaijan as a travel destination, and experts believe this sector can turn into the core direction for the country’s economic growth thanks to the extensive tourism potential.
Azerbaijan is a gem between Europe and Asia and a place you will not regret visiting. The country, where past and modernity and East and West have intertwined cannot leave indifferent any traveler. Warm Caspian Sea, sandy beaches and delicious Caucasian cuisine attract tourists to Azerbaijani resorts day by day.
The country with rich ancient history has thousands of places to visit, ranging from the capital to the unique villages lost in the clouds. With its towering Caucasus ranges, fertile valleys, thick forests and its beautiful Caspian Sea coast, Azerbaijan is home to a remarkable natural diversity. Huge part of Azerbaijan’s territory is preserved as national parks and reserves, ranging from desert to highlands, to rolling fertile valleys, and marshlands.
In addition to the natural and rural attractions, Azerbaijan has a rich cuisine, changing from region to region. ‘Tasting’ Azerbaijan means enjoying juicy apples, pomegranates, grilled meats, kabab, dolma, bozbash, all perfumed with the herbs of untouched woodlands and the spices of the Silk Road.
The country offers something for every traveler. History lovers can see Gala Fortress, Gobustan, Icherisheher, etc. Adventure seekers can indulge in hiking, horse-riding hunting, etc in Guba, Shamakhi, Lankaran and other regions, or check out the nightlife of Baku.
Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli
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