By Rashid Shirinov
Millions of people worldwide celebrate the arrival of spring with the festive Novruz holiday. People from the countries celebrating Novruz often travel abroad during this holiday. This year, Azerbaijan was, as usual, the country that many of the tourists chose as a destination during Novruz.
“This year, almost as many tourists as last year came to Novruz holiday in Azerbaijan,” Nahid Bagirov, chairman of Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA), told Trend on March 27.
He noted that although there were less Iranian tourists who came for this Novruz than in past year, they nevertheless were first among all tourists who visited Azerbaijan.
Bagirov added that this year, tourists from Iran, Arab countries, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and other CIS countries came to celebrate Novruz in Azerbaijan, noting that there is an increase in the number of tourists who came from Arab countries on this holiday.
“Most tourists came to Azerbaijan from those countries where Novruz is celebrated. Presently, the hotels are filled. Last year, hotels were mostly booked for March 21, 22 and 23, while this year they are booked for March 28-30,” the chairman said.
He noted that mostly Iranian and Arab tourists booked hotels for this period.
“Iranians mainly visit Baku, while tourists from Arab countries prefer to go to the regions. Also, the fact that hotels reduced prices by 20-30 percent on the eve of the holiday attracted tourists,” Bagirov said.
Thanks to the wonderful climate of Azerbaijan, its culture, cuisine, nature, attractions, and diversity, more and more tourists visit the country every year. Also, hospitality of Azerbaijani people, the capital with its super modern and ancient buildings draw the attention of all tourists visiting this South Caucasian country. Tourists mainly visit the most popular destinations – Baku, Gabala, Quba and many other cities.
As for the tourism infrastructure, today Azerbaijan can accommodate about 40,000 tourists in its 575 hotels, which include a series of luxury ones – 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.
Novruz is one of the most cherished holidays of many Azerbaijanis, when people are kind of uniting with nature, since spring is coming and nature is awakening. Symbolizing the end of an old year and beginning of a new year, this holiday is the oldest festival of spring and included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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