By Leman Mammadova
Colombia and Azerbaijan have potential to develop tourism aspect of their cooperation via a route proposed by the latter.
Azerbaijan has proposed Colombia-Istanbul-Baku-Tbilisi route for increasing the tourist flow from Colombia, charge d'affaires of the Azerbaijani embassy in Colombia Hamid Zeynalov told Trend.
"I held meetings with major Colombian travel companies and gave information about winter and summer tourism in Azerbaijan. Mostly tourists come to Azerbaijan from three large cities of Colombia, that’s to say, Medellin, Cartagena and Bogota. Moreover, in January 2019, it is planned to hold meetings with Colombian travel companies that operate in all cities of the country. We have proposed the Istanbul-Baku-Tbilisi route to increase the number of Colombian tourists visiting Azerbaijan. It is planned to attract tourists not only to Baku, but also to other regions of Azerbaijan," he said.
The diplomat noted that in general this year the flow of tourists from Colombia to Azerbaijan has increased this year compared to the last 3-5 years.
This upward trend was facilitated by the opening of a direct flight from Istanbul to Bogota by Turkish Airlines.
"The number of Colombian tourists visiting Turkey has greatly increased. Because of the long distance, Colombians visit Turkey, and from there other countries in Eurasia," he said.
Diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Colombia were established in 1994.
The agreement on cooperation in the field of culture between the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Colombia was signed during the visit of Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov to Colombia in May 2017. The document aimed to boost cooperation in the field of culture and tourism.
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.
In January-November 2018, the number of foreigners traveling from 193 countries to Azerbaijan amounted to 2.5 million people.
This is 6 percent more than it was in the same period of 2017, the state tourism agency reported.
Tourists from Russia, Georgia and the Middle East accounted for 65 percent of the total number of travelers.
Some 31.2 percent of the tourists were from Russia, 19.8 percent - from Georgia, 10 percent - from Turkey, 9.2 percent - from Iran, 3.3 percent - from the UAE.
The number of tourists from the CIS countries increased by 4.7 percent in January-September 2018, as compared to the same period in 2017.
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