By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The number of tourists arriving in Azerbaijan is planned to double until 2023, said Florian Sengstschmid, Executive Director of the Azerbaijan Tourism Bureau, speaking at the first General Assembly of the Azerbaijan Hotel Association in Baku.
He declared that one of the main tasks is to turn Azerbaijan into one of the attractive and successful tourist spaces.
Sengstschmid noted that the tourism strategy, covering the period up to 2023, is carried out in nine areas.
“This is the accumulation of experience, education in tourism, innovation and technology, branding, marketing and other areas,” he said.
The executive director added that for the development of tourism in the country, in particular, the hotel industry, the most important area is the cooperation between the state and business.
If the state cooperates with travel agencies, this sphere will develop faster, he added.
A new national star rating system will be applied for hotels in Azerbaijan in September-December 2019, and in December hotels will be assigned stars, said Executive Director of the newly-established Association of Hotels Gunay Saglam, speaking at the event.
She declared that for transparency in the system of national classification of hotels audit commissions will be brought in from outside.
“At the next Assembly, we will tell you how and in what form the classification will be conducted. To ensure the neutrality and objectivity of the system, all inspections will be carried out by two experienced hotel professionals who have been trained and approved by the Azerbaijan Hotel Association,” said Saglam.
Noting that already 36 hotels are members of the Azerbaijan Hotel Association, Saglam added that in 2019 the Association will not have to pay membership fees, and from 2020, membership fees will be established in accordance with various categories.
As she said, a commission on the hotel classification system will be created in May 2019, and training on star classification will be organized for hotels in June-August.
“The new system will not be applied immediately; first, trainings will be held. There are 500-600 hotels in Azerbaijan. All of them will be informed about this, so we will gather all representatives of the hotel industry from Baku and the regions,” she concluded.
Four Seasons Hotel hosted the First General Assembly of the Association of Hotels of Azerbaijan on December 4.
The main goal of the First General Assembly is to unite the hotel industry specialists and inform the assembly participants about the structure, charter, future activities, goals of the newly established Association of Azerbaijan Hotels.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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