By Abdul Kerimkhanov
More and more tourists from Arab countries are discovering Azerbaijan, which is a Land of Fire, a country of warmth and comfort.
UAE citizens accounted for 12.2 percent of the total number of foreign guests who visited hotels and hotel-type facilities in Azerbaijan in January-June 2019. Thus, the Gulf country was the leader in this regard.
State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan has said in a message that 825,198 guests visited hotels and hotel-type facilities in Azerbaijan in the first half of 2019, which is nine percent more than in the same period of 2018. Of them, 563,134 guests or 68.2 percent were foreign citizens and stateless persons.
The UAE citizens are followed by Russians (62,063 people, 11 percent), Saudi Arabians (45,907 people, 8.2 percent), Turkish nationals (35,563 people), Indians (30,181), Israel citizens (28,417), Iranians (27,164), Great Britain nationals (26,432), Kuwaitis (16,052), and the U.S. citizens (13,792).
As for the volume of services rendered by hotels and hotel-type facilities in Azerbaijan in January-June 2019, the figure is 103.83 million manats ($61 million).
The largest number of services was rendered to Russian tourists, 12.96 million manats ($7.6 million), followed by the UAE citizens, 11.95 million manats ($7 million), Saudi Arabians, 7.59 million manats ($4.5 million), Great Britain nationals, 6.98 million manats ($4.1 million), Turkish citizens, 5.09 million manats ($3 million), Indians, 5.02 million manats ($2.9 million), Israel nationals, 4.6 million manats ($2.7 million), the U.S. citizens, 3.5 million manats ($2.1 million), Iranians, 2.84 million manats ($1.7 million), and Qatar citizens, 2.6 million manats ($1.5 million).
Of the total number of foreign citizens and stateless persons, 81.2 percent or 457.115 people preferred accommodation in Baku, while 46.926 foreign citizens chose the Sheki-Zagatala zone, and 24.374 people preferred the Guba-Khachmaz zone.
In January-July 2019, as many as 1.8 million foreign tourists visited Azerbaijan, which is 122,000 people or 7.4 percent more than in the same period of 2018.
The flow of tourists from Georgia increased by 76,000 people or 23 percent, and from Russia and Turkey – by 4 percent. The growth of the number of tourists coming from Central Asia amounted to 39 percent, and from South Asia – to 44 percent.
In recent years, the creation of the diversified tourism infrastructure in Azerbaijan has increased the interest of foreign tourists to the country. There are many opportunities for tourism in Azerbaijan, including rural, health, environmental, cultural, social, commercial, sport, and other kinds of tourism.
Azerbaijan aims to further develop the tourism sector to facilitate the sustainable development of the non-oil sector.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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