By Laman Ismayilova
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought significant challenges to the global travel industry.
Tourism is considered to be one of the sectors most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, mainly due to the lockdown and travel restrictions that were imposed.
Azerbaijan is now experiencing a revival in the tourism industry. The work in this sphere is underway.
Shusha as a tourism destination
Azerbaijan's historical city Shusha will turn into a tourism destination. The Karabakh region, including the city of Shusha, will become a tourism area both for local and foreign tourists.
Azerbaijan is developing its potential tourism routes on its liberated territories.
Tourists will be able to visit the Karabakh region, known for its historical, natural, and cultural resources.
Shusha has historically been one of the important centers of the historical, cultural, socio-political life of Azerbaijan.
In 1977, Azerbaijan's national leader Heydar Aliyev declared the historical part of Shusha as the historical and architectural reserve. As a result, major steps were taken to protect monuments in Shusha and perpetuate the memory of prominent cultural and artistic figures.
However, Armenia occupied Shusha on May 8, 1992, and pursued a policy of destroying The Azerbaijani nation's historical and cultural heritage in the city.
Historical justice was restored on November 8, 2020, when Shusha was liberated from Armenia's occupation.
Now Azerbaijan’s historical monuments are being restored in the Karabakh region.
Moreover, the city was chosen as a venue for major cultural events - the Khari Bulbul Festival and the Uzeyir Hajibayli International Music Festival. This fact adds the city to the travel bucket list.
The Azerbaijan Tourism Bureau started cooperating with international virtual platforms to further attract tourists.
The bureau launched a digital partnership with the world-renowned Expedia platform, which allows you to book tickets, hotels, travel packages and tours online.
As part of the partnership, expedia.com and hotels.com posted detailed information on flights, hotels and travel offers in Azerbaijan. This information is aimed at targeting audiences in the Middle East, the UK, Turkey, Russia and Israel.
The platform will offer those looking for a new travel destination to visit Azerbaijan, for which it will raise the awareness of potential tourists and simplify travel planning by directing users to the relevant pages.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan gradually resumed its activities in international markets. Along with Expedia, the State Tourism Bureau successfully cooperates with many platforms such as Skyscanner, Wego and Aviasales.
International Trade Fair for Travel and Tourism
Azerbaijan has been successfully represented at many international trade fairs for travel and tourism, including LEISURE 2021, PATA Travel Mart 2021 and many others.
Soon, Azerbaijan's tourism potential will be once again showcased at international tourism exhibitions, including Expo 2020 Dubai, which will feature four new travel destinations.
Expo 2020 was re-scheduled amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The event will run from October till March 31, 2022.
Azerbaijan continues to expand cooperation in the tourism industry with other countries, including Turkey and Pakistan.
Chairman of the State Tourism Agency Fuad Naghiyev and Turkish ambassador to Azerbaijan Cahit Bagci have recently exchanged views on expanding tourism cooperation.
Speaking about tourism, Fuad Naghiyev pointed out that the Turkish citizens were among the first foreigners to visit Azerbaijan before the pandemic.
The sides also shared their views on the work planned to restore tourism in the post-pandemic period.
Moreover, Fuad Naghiyev discussed the expansion of tourism ties with Pakistani ambassador to Azerbaijan Bilal Hayee.
The number of visitors from Pakistan increased in 2018-2019 compared to previous years.
During the meeting, the sides exchanged views on direct flights, visa issues, the implementation of joint projects in the post-pandemic period.
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