By Mirsaid İbrahimzade
The creation of a diversified tourism infrastructure in Azerbaijan has stimulated the interest of foreign tourists to the country. There are many opportunities for tourism in Azerbaijan, including rural, health, environmental, cultural, social, commercial, sport tourism, etc.
In the first half of this year, revenues of hotels in Azerbaijan grew by 12.4 percent compared to the same period last year.
Within the reporting period, hotel revenues amounted to 187.7 million manats ($110.4 million).
As much as 24.8 percent of the income was received from the sale of food products, including beverages, 2.7 percent – from treatment and other medical services, and 6.4 percent – from other services.
In January-June 2019, the average level of hotel occupancy was 21.6 percent (20.8 percent in the first half of 2018).
This figure was 48.6 percent in Shabran, 47.9 percent in Naftalan, 32.9 percent in Baku, 30.9 percent in Beylagan, 28.2 percent in Gabala, 24.5 percent in Guba, while in other cities and regions this indicator was low.
In January-June 2019, Azerbaijan was visited by 1.4 million foreign tourists, which recorded a growth by 86,000 tourists or 6.5 percent compared to the same period of 2018.
Earlier, Nahid Bagirov, the head of the Azerbaijan Tourism Association, emphasized the tendency of the decreasing flow of tourists from Arab countries. However, even despite this reduction, Arab tourists are still in the lead positions in the general tourist flow.
As for Asian tourists, 54,100 tourists from Central Asia visited Azerbaijan (an increase of 38 percent).
Azerbaijan’s main tourist markets of South Asia are India (27,000 tourists, with increase of 80.2 percent) and Pakistan (19,000 tourists, with increase of 24.4 percent), while the main tourist markets of Central Asia are Kazakhstan (20,000 tourists, with growth by 15.1 percent) and Turkmenistan (21,000 tourists, with an increase of 85 percent).
Mirsaid Ibrahimzade is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MirsaidIbrahim1
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