By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The income of hotels and sheltered accommodation institutions in Azerbaijan amounted to 450.2 million manats ($264.8 million) in 2019, which is 25.2 percent higher than in 2018, the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan told local media.
"Some 66 percent of the revenues came from rented rooms, 25.8 percent from the sale of beverages and food products, 2.2 percent from the provision of medical and health services, six percent from the provision of other services," the State Statistics Committee said.
In general, in 2019, tourists in Azerbaijan made 3,345,300 overnight stays in hotels (an increase of 11.4 percent). At the same time, the majority of overnight stays were in Baku hotels - 57.7 percent of the total. In Gabala, this indicator amounted to nine percent, Guba- 7.9 percent, Khachmaz - 4.4 percent, Naftalan - 3.7 percent, Gusar - 2.8 percent, Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic - 2.7 percent, Lankaran - 1.2 percent, Gakh - 1 percent, Mingachevir - 1 percent, while other areas - 8.6 percent.
Simultaneously, foreign citizens or stateless persons made 2,240,900 (an increase of 9.3 percent) or 67 percent of all overnight. Of these, 13.8 percent are tourists from Saudi Arabia, 11.7 percent - the UAE, 10.9 percent - Russia, six percent - Israel, 5.9 percent - India, 5.2 percent - Iran, 5 percent - Turkey, 3.5 percent - Kuwait, 3.1 percent - Great Britain, 2.1 percent - Qatar, 2.1 percent - Pakistan, 2 percent - the U.S, 1.5 percent - China, 1.5 percent - Kazakhstan, 1.4 percent - Iraq, 1.1 percent - Germany, 1.1 percent - Georgia, the rest - from other countries.
The statistics showed that in 2019, the average hotel occupancy rate in Azerbaijan was 22.1 percent versus 20.8 percent in 2018. As for the regions, Naftalan leads in the list with 55 percent, Guba - 44.5 percent, Gabala - 36.6 percent, Beylagan - 32.2 percent, Baku - 31.8 percent, Shabran - 24.2 percent.
In 2019, the peak hotel loading occurred in August and made up 46.4 percent.
Azerbaijan is developing its tourism potential nowadays to turn into a main regional tourism destination in the coming years. Holding grand international events is part of this work.
In recent years, the creation of diversified tourism infrastructure in Azerbaijan has increased the interest of foreign tourists to the country. There are many opportunities for tourism in our country, including rural, health, environmental, cultural, social, commercial, sports, etc.
Simplification of visa regime also 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.
The mesmerizing mix of East and West, the possibility to have a rest on the Caspian Sea shore and enjoy
According to the State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan, as of 2017, there are 563 hotel facilities in the country.
In 2019, more than 3.1 million of foreigners and stateless persons from 193 countries visited Azerbaijan.
In 2020, Azerbaijan expects tourists from around the world to attend three group games of EURO 2020 in Baku in June.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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