By Rasana Gasimova
Being a country with ancient history and modern culture, Azerbaijan is attractive destination for tourists.The number of foreigners visiting Azerbaijan for tourism has significantly increased.
As many as 2.68 million tourists visited Azerbaijan in January-October 2019, which is 10.9 percent more compared to the same period of 2018, the State Tourism Agency has told local media.
Russia and Georgia accounted for the largest tourist flow to the country.
Over the reporting period, 798,000 Russian travelers visited Azerbaijan, which indicates a 6.1 percent increase compared to the same period of 2018. This number makes up 29.8 percent of the country’s total tourist flow.
593,500 Georgian tourists visited Azerbaijan over the 10 months. It is a 21.3 percent increase and 22.1 percent of Azerbaijan’s tourist flow. The top 5 also includes: Middle East countries – 314,500 people, Turkey – 261,800, and Iran - 219,300 people.
At the same time, over the reporting period, the number of tourists visiting the country from the Middle East decreased by 4.7 percent, whereas the number of those visiting from Turkey and Iran increased by 7.7 and 2 percent, respectively.
According to the data provided by State Tourism Agency, 264,000 people visited Azerbaijan in October 2019, which is 24.7 percent compared to October 2018.
Of these, 72,900 people visited from Russia, 62,600 - from Georgian, 21,800 – from Iran, 28,500 – from Turkey, and 23,400 - from the Middle East countries.
Last year, Azerbaijan was visited by 2,849,600 tourists from 196 countries, which constituted a 5.7 percent increase compared to 2017.
As to Azerbaijani tourists, 4,908,100 Azerbaijani citizens visited foreign countries. Some 1,126,300 of them visited foreign countries for recreation and entertainment, 900,200 - for working trips, 288,600 - for health tourism, 245,300 - for religious pilgrimage, and 844,500 - to visit relatives and friends.
Azerbaijan seeks to further develop the tourism sphere to ensure sustainable development of its non-oil sector.
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