By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The tourist flow to Azerbaijan increased by 11.4 percent year-on-year in 2019 to reach 3.17 million people, the State Tourism Agency has told local media.
“In 2019, the tourist flow to Azerbaijan increased by 11.4 percent compared to 2018, up to 3.17 million people. At the same time, the number of tourists from Europe amounted to 224,000 people, which is 14.7 percent more than in 2018,” the agency reported.
UK is the leader among European countries for the number of tourists (36,000 tourists). Tourists from this country increase by 25.3 percent in 2019.
The tourist flow from Germany in 2019 boosted by 19.4 percent - up to 20,000 people, from Italy - by 10.8 percent, up to 12,000, France - by 15.2 percent, up to 9,000 tourists.
The largest tourist flow from among the South Asian countries was noticed among tourists from India - an increase of 66.8 percent (65,000 tourists), from Pakistan - by 12.9 percent (up to 46,000 people).
Among the Central Asian countries, the growth in the number of tourists from Turkmenistan amounted to 85 percent (52,000 tourists), Kazakhstan - 26.1 percent (47,000 people), Uzbekistan - 28.3 percent (23,000).
In 2018, as many as 2.8 million tourists from 196 countries visited Azerbaijan. Russian, Georgian, Turkish and Iranian citizens made up the largest share of the tourists arriving in the country. In 2018, there was a significant increase in the number of visitors coming from the Gulf countries.
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.
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.
Moreover, the 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 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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