By Rasana Gasimova
Azerbaijan’s Naftalan resort, which offers crude oil baths, is among top five recreation spots among the CIS countries for Russian tourists in Autumn 2019.
Russia’s TurStat analytical agency said this while presenting a rating of CIS countries’ resorts for health tourism and balneological recreation.
Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Moldova are most popular destinations among Russian tourists.
Under the report, Azerbaijan has significant opportunities for the development of health tourism, as the country is rich with therapeutic mineral and thermal waters, mild climate and fascinating natural landscapes - forests, mountains, rivers and waterfalls.
Apart from Naftalan in Azerbaijan, TurStat’s top 5 include Lake Narach resort in Belarus, Burabai resort in Kazakhstan, Jermuk resort in Armenia and Calarasi resort in Moldova.
According to TourStat, those visiting the resorts of the CIS countries in the autumn spend around 10-14 days and pay from 3,000 ($46.89) to 3,500 ($54.71) rubles a day for accommodation, meals and treatment. Belarus was named the cheapest place for accommodation, with the average daily cost for meals and treatment being less than 3,000 rubles a day, whereas the other 4 countries charge around 3,500 rubles a day.
The number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan for medical treatment is expected to increase by 18 percent in 2019. The number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan for medical treatment in January-November 2018 increased by 30 percent compared to the same period in 2017. Many of the locals and foreign tourists visit Istisu, Naftalan, Galaalti, Duzdagh health centers for treatment.
Naftalan is a unique health center, offering crude oil bath that are considered a remedy for many diseases. Naftalan popularized Azerbaijan long before the oil boom that made Baku famous in the 19th century. The world’s only museum of crutches is also located in Naftalan city. The exhibits in the museum are crutches left by tourists who came to Naftalan for treatment
It should also be noted that Azerbaijan has around 300 mud volcanoes whose mud is used for treatment of radiculitis, skin, cardiovascular, gynecological, urological diseases, and gastrointestinal disturbances.
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