By Narmina Mammadova
Not sure where to go for a winter vacation? There are many places where you can relax in the wintertime.
Azerbaijan is a great solution for lovers of leisure activities and extreme tourism.
Winter holidays in Azerbaijan mean national hearty dishes (broth khash, ruddy fijim(meat pie), steaming dushbara), interesting excursions introducing the country's natural and historical wealth, various types of activities in ski resorts.
Azerbaijan offers many popular destinations for snow seekers. While most of Azerbaijan’s major cities, including Baku, receive only small amounts of snow, locations such as Guba, Gusar and Gabala are offering great snow experiences.
Analytical agency TurStat presented a rating of the best CIS cities for New Year and winter travel in December and January 2019, according to tourists.
Baku is in the top three most popular cities among tourists in the CIS, Day.Az reports.
The top ten cities of the CIS among tourists this winter include Minsk in Belarus, Baku in Azerbaijan, Astana in Kazakhstan, Almaty in Kazakhstan, Tashkent in Uzbekistan, Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan, Chisinau in Moldova, Dushanbe in Tajikistan and Ashgabat in Turkmenistan.
According to TurStat, tourists come to cities and CIS countries for an average of 3-5 days in winter.
Russian tourists spend from $50 to $100 per day for room and board on winter tours to the CIS cities and resorts.
Tours to the ski resorts of Shymbulak near Almaty, Shahdag and Tufandag in Azerbaijan, Logoisk and Silichi near Minsk are most popular among tourists from CIS countries.
The rating is based on an analysis of the tours' popularity.
Recently, TurStat has published a rating of the best CIS cities for shopping, according to Russian tourists.
Baku and Astana lead this ranking. Azerbaijan is also on the 15th place in the TOP-20 countries Russian tourists are eager to visit in 2018.
The number of Russian citizens visiting Azerbaijan exceeded 817,000 people with a growth of 4 percent.
There are several reasons why Russian tourists are heading to Azerbaijan for their vacation. Tourists are attracted to the quality of the hotel basis, the richness of excursion programs and the development of sanitary and spa complex, such as Naftalan. Most tourists believe that the hotel base in Azerbaijan does not fall behind with Europe.
Azerbaijan is among the developing countries in the field of tourism, occupying the 39th place among 148 countries in terms of global competitiveness in tourism.
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