By Leman Mammadova
Tourism is one of the areas where Azerbaijan and Israel successfully develop cooperation. The number of tourists coming to Azerbaijan from Israel is growing, and they return home with the best impressions.
Azerbaijan Tourism Board has been implementing a campaign for Israeli tourists, sharing information on social networks and pursuing an advertising policy for the Israeli market since early this year.
Baku is among the ten cities that Israelis visited most often in January-July 2019, Azerbaijan's State Tourism Agency said in a message.
In the reporting period, the number of Israeli tourists arriving in Baku amounted to 24,464 people, thus increasing by 29 percent compared to the same period last year.
The list of the top ten cities also includes cities in Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece.
As many as 2,849,600 tourists from 196 countries arrived in Azerbaijan in 2018, 1.4 percent of which accounted for tourists coming from Israel, according to the State Statistical Committee.
The number of tourists coming from Israel to Azerbaijan increased by 161 percent (40,000 travelers) in 2018 compared to 2017.
Last year, the number of flights between Baku and Tel Aviv increased dramatically.
Israir Airlines & Tourism Ltd., an Israeli airline based at Sde Dov Airport (SDV) in Tel Aviv, is carrying out flights to Baku three times a week, as part of tourist packages. The direct flight is of great significance in terms of mutual increase in tourism turnover.
Today’s friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Israel are built on centuries of Jewish-Azerbaijani coexistence.
Uniting both Eastern and Western cultures, Azerbaijan becomes the popular destination for many tourists and attracts millions of visitors every year. The beautiful nature of Azerbaijan, hospitality of its people, the country's capital with its super modern and ancient buildings draws the attention of all tourists visiting this South Caucasian country.
The successful holding of international events has also turned Azerbaijan into a country recognizable by everyone in the world, and a country that many foreigners wish to visit as soon as possible. Moreover, simplification of the visa regime 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.
Azerbaijan aims to develop tourism sector by all possible means to ensure sustainable development of the non-oil sector.
Leman Mammadova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @leman_888
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