By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan has favorable conditions for the development of tourism. The socio-economic progress has created new opportunities for the comprehensive development of this sphere in the country.
As many as 365,000 foreign guests visited Azerbaijan in July 2019, which is 10.6 percent more compared to July 2018, according to the State Tourism Agency.
Russian guests accounted for 35 percent of the total number of tourists, which is 10 percent or 11,000 people more year-on-year.
The highest growth in July was recorded among Georgian tourists. In the annual comparison, the number of arrivals from Georgia increased by 12,000 people or 26 percent, amounting to 61,000 people.
Meanwhile, the number of travelers from Saudi Arabia to Azerbaijan increased by 25 percent to a record high of 29,000 people.
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.
The flow of tourists from Georgia increased by 76,000 people or 23 percent, and from Russia and Turkey – by 4 percent. The growth of the number of tourists coming from Central Asia amounted to 39 percent, and from South Asia – to 44 percent.
Last year, as many as 2.8 million tourists from 196 countries arrived in Azerbaijan. Russian, Georgian, Turkish and Iranian citizens made up the largest share of the tourists arriving in the country. In 2018, there was a significant increase in the number of visitors coming from the Gulf countries.
In recent years, the creation of the diversified tourism infrastructure in Azerbaijan has increased the interest of foreign tourists to the country. There are many opportunities for tourism in Azerbaijan, including rural, health, environmental, cultural, social, commercial, sport, and other kinds of tourism.
The successful holding of international events has also turned Azerbaijan into a country recognizable by everyone in the world, and a country that many foreigners wish to visit.
Moreover, the simplification of the visa regime plays a major role in the development of tourism in Azerbaijan. Currently, citizens of a number of countries get visas right at the Azerbaijani airports, while other tourists can visit the country by getting online tourist visas.
Azerbaijan aims to further develop the tourism sector to facilitate the sustainable development of the non-oil sector.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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