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Azerbaijan is becoming one of the popular tourist destinations

BakuOldCityLand of Fire becomes attractive destination for travelers.

Azerbaijan, a South Caucasus country located at the junction of the two world civilizations, is becoming one of the popular tourist destinations of the region.

The land rich with historical, cultural and natural heritage attracts visitors from all over the world. Untouched nature, mineral springs, the world’s only oil field treatment – naphthalene, a unique ancient architecture, unique culture, cuisine, and many more enable Azerbaijan to create all types of tourism, including business, sport, medical, cognitive, hunting, exotic, beach and even gastronomic.

With its towering Caucasus ranges, fertile valleys, thick forests and beautiful Caspian Sea coast, Azerbaijan is home to a remarkable natural diversity. Huge part of Azerbaijan’s territory is preserved as national parks and reserves, ranging from desert to highlands, to rolling fertile valleys, and marshlands. These landscapes offer a range of unusual flora and fauna, including ancient mountain villages.

In addition to the natural and rural attractions, Azerbaijan has a rich cuisine, changing from region to region. ‘Tasting’ Azerbaijan means enjoying juicy apples, pomegranates, grilled meats, kabab, dolma, bozbash, all perfumed with the herbs of untouched woodlands and the spices of the Silk Road.

There are ample of things to do in Azerbaijan, be it exploring the country on a horse back or simply savoring the delicious cuisine. The country offers something for every traveler. History lovers can see Gala Fortress, Gobustan, Icherisheher, etc. Adventure seekers can indulge in hiking, horse-riding hunting, etc in Guba, Shamakhi, Lankaran and other regions, or check out the nightlife of Baku.

The modern face of the city is of equal interest for the visitors. Buildings of Flame Towers, the sport and entertainment complex Crystal Hall which held a Eurovision contest in 2012, the cultural center of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and others are the unique characters symbolizing Baku.

A favorite place for walks for residents and guests of the capital remains transformed and shining by neon lights city Seaside park (Boulevard).

The flow of tourists is increasing every year, so in the capital and other tourist areas there is growing number of hotels with the highest level of service.

One of Azerbaijan’s strongest assets for tourism development is its service culture – Azerbaijanis are famous for their hospitality. This culture is best reflected in the hotel and restaurant sectors.

Last year, 35 hotels were built in the country, while 25 are under construction. In general, there are more than 500 hotels in Azerbaijan.

In 10 years, foreign tourists in Azerbaijan will spend $6 billion a year, according to the report of the World Travel & Tourism Council, WTTC.

The report says that in 2016 the tourism industry of Azerbaijan provided 2.285 billion manats ($1.437 billion) or 4.1 percent of the country’s GDP.

The WTTC forecasts says that in 2017 tourism will provide 7 percent or 2.446 billion manat of GDP, in 2017-2027 the sector’s share will grow by 6.5 percent to 4.581 billion manats ($2.881 billion) or 5.9 percet of GDP.

In 2016, some 479.5 million was invested in the tourism sector of Azerbaijan, according to the report, which predicts growth by 6.2 percent in 2017, and by 4.9 percent in the next 10 years.

In connection with March holiday – Novruz Bayram, a large number of tourists came to Azerbaijan mainly from Iran, Russia and Arab countries who spent more than a week in the country.

By Aminda Nazarli

AzerNews

 

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Baku, an extraordinary and impressive capital city of the Land of Fire, today is known far beyond the region thanks to its fairy beauty and sustainable development

Explore AzerbaijanBaku’s image to be completely changed by 2030.

Baku, an extraordinary and impressive capital city of the Land of Fire, today is known far beyond the region thanks to its fairy beauty and sustainable development.

Incredible construction boom of recent years in Baku, also known as the City of Winds, amazes many by new hotels, office buildings, skyscrapers, sporting complexes and museums of modern art.

Indeed, the city is quickly rejuvenated and by 2030 some expect the city to turn into “Singapore” of South Caucasus.

The process of modernizing the city was launched a few years ago and is continued under the “Greater Baku Regional Development Plan” covering the period of up to 2030.

Developed on the basis of the agreement signed between the Azerbaijani government and the World Bank, the plan consists of two stages.

Deputy Director of the State Town Planning Department of the State Town Planning and Architecture Committee Fakhri Aydamir stressed that Baku will completely changed by 2030.

Baku will be even more charming, since large-scale projects are expected to be realized, stimulating the development of a number of industrial sectors.

The new plan stipulates construction of new railway lines, roads, parks and many other infrastructures making the life of the city residents more convenient and the appearance of the city more stunning.

One of the features of the plan can be the revival of tram lines. Tramway network appeared in Baku in 1924 to replace the horsecar lines existing since 1889. Later in 2004, Baku eliminated this public transport, and became the largest city in the CIS without the tram.

The plan also stipulates construction of the Olympic city near Boyuk Shor, Azerbaijan’s second largest lake and the largest lake in the Absheron Peninsula.

Reconstruction and development of the eastern part of the city center will also be realized within this plan. Baku White City is one of the major projects of the plan, according to which, this part of Baku, once considered “black city”, will now be called “white”. The Baku White City master plan envisages the creation of 10 universal urban districts with each of them to offer its residents the best living, working, recreation and entertainment conditions. This is the largest ongoing project in the Caucasus, covering 221 ha including 39 ha of landscape.

The key aim of the plan is to eliminate congestion in the capital. Therefore it’s planned to move the universities from the city centers to the territory of outskirts such as Alat, Sangachal, Zig, Khojahasan, Dubendi, Sumgayit and Boyuk Shor.

Fakhri Aydamir said the names of these universities are still unknown: “It’s just a proposal, and they will be revealed on the next stages of the project.’

The refreshing work will also concern Absheron Peninsula, Sumgayit and Khirdalan cities, located away from the capital. Under the Greater Baku plan Khirdalan will have its metro, while resident of Sumgayit already enjoy modern high-speed trains.

Another stage in the plan is Proper Baku Land use and Zoning Plan that covers an area of more than 33,000 hectares in the central part of Baku. The plan provides increase of greenery through the Baku Seaside Boulevard, a favorite promenade of many Baku residents and visitors.

Since the vast majority of historical monuments are concentrated in the central part of Baku, this part of the city will be protected and construction work will be forbidden here.

The plan also stipulates withdrawal of the industrial enterprises from the city center, replacing them with business centers, sporting venues, hotels, parks. The plan also includes construction of roads for tourists using special transport and electric cars.

Further steps for Greater Baku include the creation of many hectares of forests and mass planting of greenery in the territory of the old factories in the suburbs of the capital.

By Amina Nazarli

AzerNews

Azerbaijan to offer low-cost tour packages

115Land of Fire to offer low-cost tour packages.

Azerbaijan, a country hoping to become a main tourist attraction in the region, is planning to offer low-cost travel packages to visitors from certain countries arriving to the Land of Fire.

Boosting tourism by creating favorable conditions for foreign tourists is of great importance today for the country that is switching from oil production to the development of non-oil industries.

A joint working group set up by the Culture and Tourism Ministry and Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) met recently to draw up plans to more effectively promote inbound tourism and attract more tourists next year.

The meeting discussed a number of issues, and an agreement was reached for joint activities in 2016.

The two sides discussed the preparation of low-cost travel packages for citizens of countries where Azerbaijan Airlines has direct flights, taking into account the specific qualities of these countries. The packages include holidays and vacations in the said countries.

The tourism ministry and AZAL also agreed to take a common national stand in tourism exhibitions and share the use of structures operating in a number of foreign countries.

They are set to sign a document implementing the 2016 plan.

Developing budget tourism plays a decisive role in the country’s plan on turning into the tourist attraction. Toward this direction, the country also aims to increase the number of budget hotels and hostels. Currently, the country can accommodate more than 35,000 tourists in its 530 hotels.

Low-cost travel packages for countries in the region are seen to increase the tourist flow, as Azerbaijan seems especially attractive to its neighboring countries.

Azerbaijan and Baku, in particular, have many interesting sites for both Eastern and Western tourists as the country is a mix of two cultures.

Over one million tourists visited Azerbaijan in the first eight months of this year, while over 2 million tourists came to Azerbaijan last year, which resulted in about one billion manat (over $950,000 million) in revenue from tourism.

Azerbaijan hosts a series of luxury hotels – Jumeirah, Excelsior, Hilton, Four Seasons, Fairmont, JW Marriott, Kempinski – as well as many budget hotels for cost-conscious travelers. Prices for accommodation in the country start from $15 and increase depending on the hotel class and amenities provided.

The prices have already been reduced at a number of tourist facilities in the country recently.

By Nigar Orujova

AzerNews