By Akbar Mammadov
Azerbaijan has experienced sharp decline in the number of incoming tourists since April due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, the State Statistics Committee reported on May 19.
According to the report, the number of visitors to Azerbaijan decreased by 4.7 times in April compared to the previous month and 12.1 times compared to April last year.
Overall, the number of foreigners and stateless persons in Azerbaijan decreased by 36.5 percent year-on-year in January-April 2020, amounting to 539.000 people.
Most tourists in the country were from Russia (30.4 percent) and Georgia (27.9 percent) in January-April 2020.
Some 12.3 percent of the overall visitors came from Turkey, 6.1 percent from Iran, 2.3 percent from India, 2.2 percent from Saudi Arabia and 2.1 percent from Ukraine. 1.5 percent in the United Arab Emirates, 1.4 percent in Pakistan, 1.3 percent in Kuwait and Kazakhstan, 1.2 percent in Turkmenistan, 0.9 percent in Iraq and the United Kingdom, 0.8 percent from Uzbekistan; 0.7% were citizens of Israel, 6.6% were citizens of other countries, and 0.1% were stateless persons.
Most visitors were males (74 percent).
In January-April this year, the number of visitors from the United Arab Emirates decreased by 4.1 times, from China - 3.5 times, from Spain, Oman and Poland - 2.5 times, from Japan - 2.4 times, from Qatar and the Netherlands - 2.3 times, whereas from the United States, Iraq, Italy, France and Canada reduced by the same number-2.2 times.
In general, the number of arrivals from EU member countries decreased by 2.2 times, amounting to 15.6 thousand people, while the figure from Gulf countries decreased by 2.0 times to 70.7 thousand people, from CIS countries decreased by 1.4 times to 197.6 thousand people.
Thus, 65.8 percent of foreigners and stateless persons came to Azerbaijan by rail and road, whereas 32.8 percent of them arrived by air and 1.4 percent by sea.
In the case of the number of citizens of Azerbaijan visiting abroad, compared to January-April 2019, the figure decreased by 42.3 percent, amounting 944.7 thousand people. Some 33.8 percent of the country's citizens visited Iran, 29.8 percent Georgia, 20.4 percent the Russian Federation, 9.7 percent Turkey and 6.3 percent other countries. In addition, 68.9 percent of those who left were men and 31.1 percent were women.
During this period, the number of Azerbaijani citizens traveling to Iran decreased by 50.3 percent, to Turkey by 42.4 percent, to Georgia by 36.8 percent, and the number of those traveling to the Russian Federation decreased by 35.6 percent.
Thus, in January-April 2020, 82.4 percent of the citizens of Azerbaijan who visited foreign countries used railways and automobiles, while 16.3 percent and 1.3 percent of them traveled by air and sea, respectively.
Akbar Mammadov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AkbarMammadov97
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