By Aygul Salmanova
Prices in hotels of Azerbaijan were not so high compared to other countries of the world, said Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfas Garayev on 27 December.
As international practice shows, usually on weekends and pre-holidays hotels raised the prices, the minister said.
“However, this does not mean that prices in Azerbaijan are higher than in other countries. Today, the hotels in Azerbaijan can offer suitable prices to any potential tourist. In some hotels, prices do not reach 50 manats ($29), in some they are higher than 1,000 manats ($588). Consequently, everyone can make a choice based on what they can afford. The development of the tourism market in Azerbaijan shows that the policy is being carried out correctly,” Garayev said.
He noted that the overwhelming majority of Azerbaijani tourists had decided to rest for holidays at home, not leaving the country.
In the future, the minister said, a work would be carried out to increase the number of rooms in hotels. “Recent trends show that there is a need to expand tourism infrastructure and construction of new hotels in Azerbaijan. The Ministry receives information that some hotels are overcrowded and people are searching for places,” Garayev said.
“This year, culture and tourism has been memorable with rich and interesting events. One of the most important events of the year is the inclusion of Kamancha and Dolma in the Representative List of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage,” the minister told reporters.
Garayev said that along with this, the Baku Process and the Baku Intercultural Dialogue Forum initiated by President Ilham Aliyev for the first time in the history of Azerbaijan were mentioned as a key part of the world's intercultural dialogue in a special report by the UN report and the Secretary-General.
He noted that the main goal of the Tourism Council is to analyze the current situation in the tourism sector in Azerbaijan, take appropriate measures to eliminate problems in this area and coordinate the fulfillment of tasks assigned to the state bodies in the field of tourism.
One of the priorities of the Tourism Council is to achieve the goals set in “Strategic Roadmap for the Development of the Tourism Industry”, according to the minister.
“This document contains many important provisions that stimulate the development of tourism in the country. A number of successful steps have already been taken in this direction. For the first time the Baku Shopping Festival was held twice a year in the country. Statistics also show that festivals have a positive impact on the growth of trade in our country,” he noted.
Tourism tends to become one of the main sectors of the Azerbaijani economy, and that can be seen from the huge flow of tourists visiting the country this year.
Today tourism is developing with high speed in Azerbaijan, with a contribution of 4.5 percent to the national GDP. The country witnesses more than 2 million annual foreign tourist arrivals and thousands of domestic tourism visits.
Hotels are a vital and fundamental part of tourism supply. Comfortable hotels and accommodation facilities contribute to popularizing any tourist destination, as travelers require location where they can rest and revive during their travel.
Today, Azerbaijan can accommodate about 40,000 tourists in its 575 hotels, which include a series of luxury hotels – Excelsior, Hilton, Four Seasons, Fairmont, JW Marriott – as well as several budget hotels for cost-conscious travelers. Moreover, 25 hostels and 92 apartments for tourists operate in Baku.
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