By Rasana Gasimova
The Azerbaijani Tourism Board opened the "Azerbaijan.Travel" Guest Center in the Georgian capital Tbilisi on October 4.
The event was attended by Dursun Hasanov, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Georgia, government officials, businessmen and the public of both countries, local media reports.
Speaking at the event, Fuad Nagiyev, the Chairman of the State Tourism Agency said that Azerbaijan and Georgia have close friendly and neighborly relations, adding that this is also reflected in the development of tourism.
"Today, we met with Mariam Kvrivishvili, the Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, to discuss a number of important issues, including organizing joint tours in Georgia and Azerbaijan," Nagiyev noted.
In his turn, Florian Sengstschmid, the Executive Director of Azerbaijan Tourism Board said that opening a representative office would further strengthen ties between the two countries.
Noting that Azerbaijan is an ideal country for many reasons, Sengstschmid said that the people of Azerbaijan are pleased to share their culture and cuisine with Georgian guests.
He also stressed that Georgian citizens compose 22 percent of the tourists arriving in Azerbaijan, adding that the visa-free regime between the two countries had a positive impact on the inflow of tourists and that these people arrived in Tbilisi via direct flights, improved railway lines and highways.
Sengstschmid said that Azerbaijan aims to enter the list of countries where tourism has made a significant contribution to GDP and will contribute 6% annually over the next 10 years, thus putting Azerbaijan in the top 20 of the global tourism sector.
Speaking at the event, the Head of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, Mariam Kvrivishvili praised the opening of the Guest Center in Tbilisi. According to her words, the Сenter will play an important role in developing economic relations between the countries, especially in the sphere of tourism.
Note that Azerbaijan.Travel is a unique concept that allows people to learn about various experiences offered by the country.
Azerbaijan.Travel will play the role of a travel agency that can provide information about tours and trips, along with images and information.
Azerbaijan ranked first for the number of tourists visiting Georgia in January-March 2019. Some 292,902 Azerbaijani tourists visited Georgia in this period. Thus, the number of people visiting the neighboring country from Azerbaijan increased by 8,651 people or 3 percent compared to the same period in 2018.
A total of 1,617,548 foreigners visited Georgia in the reporting period, which is 2.2 percent more than last year.
The tourist flow between Azerbaijan and Georgia keeps increasing. This year, the number of tourists coming to Azerbaijan from Georgia for the first time exceeded the number of the Russian ones. Georgian citizens accounted for 29.8 percent of 364,200 visitors arriving in Azerbaijan in January-February 2019.
Azerbaijan and Georgia maintain high-level relations in all spheres, especially in the economic field. The two countries have repeatedly taken joint initiatives for global projects in the region. Close bilateral ties of Azerbaijan and Georgia play a key role in the development of regional cooperation.
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