The security problems that arose in Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region and adjacent territories as a result of the Armenian occupation, which, even before the occupation, were distinguished not only by the mining, metallurgical, food, processing, pharmaceutical, grain sectors, but also by the vast development potential in the field of tourism and recreation, as well as the infrastructure destroyed by the Armenians in these districts, at this stage, make it impossible to develop tourism there.
Of course, the full use of tourism opportunities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the surrounding districts will be possible only after ensuring three main factors: security, the return of the population and the creation of infrastructure.
There is no doubt that after all these issues are resolved, the Nagorno-Karabakh region will hold a leading position in the Azerbaijani tourism sector in the near future. It is safe to say that the Nagorno-Karabakh region will become a center of ecotourism of regional and then global significance.
Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries Altynbek Mamayusupov stressed with confidence that life in the liberated lands will revive and the Nagorno-Karabakh region will become one of the most attractive tourist destinations in the region soon.
Research on the use of the tourism potential of the region
The work on the creation of infrastructure in the territories liberated from the occupation has already begun. The development of the tourism sector in the Nagorno-Karabakh region will have a positive impact on the rapid economic revival of the region.
While using the potential of mountain tourism, ecotourism, medical and cultural tourism in Shusha, Lachin and Kalbajar, which are beautiful tourist destinations, it is possible to contribute to the economic revival of Nagorno-Karabakh.
After ensuring security in the region, returning the population and creating infrastructure in the Nagorno-Karabakh region and adjacent territories, new tourism products will be created and presented to tourists, press secretary of the Azerbaijani State Tourism Agency Kanan Guluzade believes..
At the first stage, the creation of domestic tourism will be the main direction. It is planned to organize introductory tours and after the complete restoration of the infrastructure, to revive health tourism.
Which types of tourism have the opportunities for development in Nagorno-Karabakh?
Gokdeniz Gahramanov, Chairman of the Expert Council of the Association of Travel Agencies of Azerbaijan, thinks that there are great opportunities in the Nagorno-Karabakh region for the development of many types of tourism - ecological, mountain, winter, hunting, health.
“This region of Azerbaijan, which has ancient history, its unique flora and fauna, cuisine, historical, cultural and religious monuments, ancient fortresses, bridges, forests, springs, will attract tourists,” Gahramanov said.
Samir Dubandi, Chairman of the Board of the Azerbaijan Association of Hotels and Restaurants, is sure that ecotourism in the Nagorno-Karabakh region will develop rapidly.
Considering ecotourism as the future of these territories, Dubandi thinks that it is possible to organize various types of extreme tourism, agro-tourism, "green" tourism in the Nagorno-Karabakh region, which is rich in natural resources.
Azerbaijani MP Aydin Huseynov said that such mineral springs as Istisu, Minkand, Tutgunchay in the Kalbajar-Lachin economic region, climatic and balneological conditions, mountain forests can be used for resort purposes.
Historical monuments of Shusha city, "Chetir" waterfalls...
Tourism expert Fariz Hajiyev considers it possible to implement many tourism projects in the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
For this purpose, one can use the enchanting nature of Gubadli region and the potential of the Khakari River. By creating beautiful recreation centers in those territories, including Kalbajar district, green tourism can be developed.
Hajiyev thinks that the Kalbajar district is also an ideal place for winter tourism.
The expert added that Shusha, in turn, will become one of the cities-symbols of Azerbaijani tourism.
"Many tourists will go to Shusha just to see the Chetir waterfalls," Hajiyev added.
The biggest tourist center in the Caucasus can be created in Nagorno-Karabakh
Economics expert Eldaniz Amirov thinks that there are quite wide recreational opportunities in Lachin district. The availability of sources of mineral water in the district will stipulate the emergence of new production facilities in the beverage industry.
“The Lachin reserve with an area of more than 21,000 hectares with rich flora and fauna, the Iligsu mineral spring, will expand the tourism opportunities of these territories,” the expert added.
"Even before the occupation, there were two big sanatoriums in Istisu settlement of Kalbajar district having importance all over the USSR, where which 50,000 people were treated annually,” the expert said. ’Istisu’ mineral water was intended both for internal reception and external use.”
“There was even a mineral water bottling plant,” the expert said. “Thus, the tourism potential of Kalbajar can even compete with the tourist centers of Georgia."
The expert added that it is possible to create the biggest tourist center in the Caucasus by using the potential in the Nagorno-Karabakh region correctly.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz