By Narmina Mammadova
Azerbaijan has a great potential for the development of tourism. Nature, climate, historical monuments, cuisine, rich culture of the people and other factors lay the foundation for the development of many areas of tourism.
Our country is among the developing countries in the field of tourism, occupying the 39th place among 148 countries in terms of global competitiveness in tourism.
Azerbaijan is quickly learning and gaining experience in tourism development. As a result of measures taken by the state, the country has created a modern hotel and tourist infrastructure, trained personnel for the industry, formed an extensive network of travel agencies, created information and advertising structures, developed many tourist routes across the country, running through the most scenic and fertile areas.
Current trends in the development of tourism indicate an increase in its influence both on the world economy as a whole and on the country's economy.
It is not surprising that Azerbaijan wants to occupy its own niche in this globally developing area.
In general, the number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan increased by 9 percent compared to the same period of 2017, Chairman of the Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA) Nahid Bagirov told Trend on October 9.
He went on to say that compared to 2017, the number of Emirati tourists arriving in Azerbaijan has decreased in 2018. Though, in 2018, the number of tourists from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait has increased, he added.
The head of AzTA also stressed that among the guests there are tourists who do not visit Azerbaijan for the first time and they are mainly from Arab countries.
The State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan had earlier reported that in January-August 2018, 1,976,900 foreigners and stateless persons from 193 countries arrived in Azerbaijan, which is 8.5 percent more compared to the corresponding period of 2017.
In January-August, the number of arrivals from the Gulf countries increased (with the exception of the UAE and Iran).
Compared to the same period of 2017, the number of visitors from these countries increased 2.2 times, including citizens of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain - 2.4 times, citizens of Qatar - 1.9 times, Iraqis - 19 percent and citizens of Oman - 9.5 percent.
The number of arrivals in Azerbaijan from the UAE decreased by 5.6 percent and from Iran by 25.4 percent.
The total number of arrivals from the Gulf countries increased by 0.5 percent, which amounted to 433,600 people.
In general, every fifth person who arrived in Azerbaijan was from the Gulf countries.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz