By Mirsaid Ibrahimzade
Azerbaijan has entered the top three of the best CIS countries for sightseeing, Trend reports with reference to the analytical agency TourStat, which ranked the best destinations of the CIS countries for sightseeing tours, leisure and travel of Russian tourists.
Belarus, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are in the list of best destinations for sightseeing holidays.
As many as 27 percent of the votes was given to Belarus, 22 percent - to Kazakhstan, 16 percent - to Azerbaijan, while Uzbekistan accounted for only 12 percent.
The rating is made according to the market research of sightseeing tours and online survey.
According to TourStat, a sightseeing tour to the CIS countries for seven days costs, on average, from $ 500 to $ 1,000.
There are several reasons why Russian tourists are heading to Azerbaijan for their vacation. Tourists are attracted by the quality of the hotel basis, the richness of excursion programs and the development of sanitary and spa complexes, such as Naftalan. Most tourists believe that the hotel base in Azerbaijan does not fall behind with Europe.
Generally, 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 total, for 2018, Azerbaijan was visited by 2.849 million foreign citizens and stateless persons from 196 countries, which is 5.7 percent more than in 2017.
Looking at the origin countries of tourists coming to Azerbaijan, Russians make up the largest part of the tourists having a share of 30.9 percent, while 21.4 percent came from Georgia, 10.2 percent - Turkey, 8.5 percent - Iran, 3.3 percent - the United Arab Emirates, 2.6 percent - Saudi Arabia, 2.4 percent - Iraq, two percent - Ukraine, 1.4 percent - Israel, 17.2 percent - citizens of other countries, 0.1 percent - stateless persons.
Speaking about diversification of tourism sector and related service which is one the important fields, it should be noted that Azerbaijan’s Shahdag and Tufandag winter-summer tourism complexes attract great interest of tourists.
Moreover, simplification of visa regime also plays a major role in the development of tourism in Azerbaijan. Currently, citizens of a number of countries get visas right at the Azerbaijani airports, while other tourists can visit the country by getting online tourist visas.
Considering the country on the whole, the territory of Azerbaijan is interesting because it combines nine climatic zones out of 11 existing in the world, from subtropics to high-alpine meadows.
In recent years, the development of the tourism industry has received the closest attention of the leadership of Azerbaijan. In the cities of country, in resort areas, in the mountains and on the Caspian coast, dozens of international-class hotels were built, worldwide networks opened their hotels, water parks and extensive recreation areas were created.
The mesmerizing mix of East and West, the possibility to have a rest on the Caspian Sea shore and enjoy fresh air and delicious meals have always been attracting tourists to Azerbaijan. Many of them get so much fascinated with the country and its capital Baku that they come back to visit Azerbaijan again after a while.
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