AZAL VP: Azerbaijan is a cultural & tourist center with great potential

16 April 2019 17:17 (UTC+04:00)

By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade

Today, Azerbaijan is a cultural and tourist center with great potential, Vice President of Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) Eldar Hajiyev said at a presentation entitled “Azerbaijan through the eyes of a falcon” in Riyadh, during which new routes of Azerbaijan Airlines to a number of cities in Saudi Arabia were announced.

The main flow of tourists arrives in Azerbaijan by air, he said.

Heydar Aliyev Airport which has become a country’s air gate due to its favorable geographical position has acquired the status of the region’s main transit airport, Hajiyev noted.

The Vice President noted that in our country, despite the relatively small territory, there are six international airports that meet international standards.

“Today, Azerbaijan is a cultural and tourist center with great potential. Beautiful nature, diverse climate, rich historical and cultural heritage - all this allows Azerbaijan to receive guests of the whole world at the highest level,” he said.

In recent years, Azerbaijan's trade and tourism relations with Gulf countries are growing rapidly.

Official tourism representative offices of Azerbaijan have been operating in Riyadh and Dubai since the end of the last year.

In 2018, as many as 2,849,600 tourists from 196 countries visited Azerbaijan, and UAE citizens accounted for 3.3 percent of those arriving in the country while Saudi citizens accounted for about 2.6 percent.

Simplification of visa regime played a major role in the growth of tourist flow from the Middle East. In February 2016, Azerbaijan simplified the procedure of obtaining visas for citizens of Gulf countries.

It’s noteworthy that Saudi Arabia facilitates the increase in flow of Arab tourists to Azerbaijan.

The Saudi Travel and Tourism Association is developing a "roadmap" to provide assistance in attracting Arab tourists to Azerbaijan. The roadmap is designed for five years. All aspects of the cooperation of the sides will be coordinated by the State Tourism Agency of Azerbaijan. Saudi Arabia will also attract tourists to Azerbaijan, and will ensure an annual increase in investment in the country at a level of at least five percent.

Recently, Flynas, Saudi Arabia's leading low-cost airline, has announced its plan to launch flights to Baku. That will contribute to the further growth in tourist flow to Baku from Gulf countries.

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