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Azerbaijan to attract more Indian tourists



(MENAFN - AzerNews) By Narmina Mammadova

The Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA) is working to attract tourists from India to the country, AzTA Chairman Nahid Bagirov said on December 18.

The Association is currently negotiating with various Indian companies in this direction, the head of AzTA said.

"The Association took the initiative of filming Indian movie scenes in Baku, which ended relatively recently. When this film comes out, it will be a big advertisement for Azerbaijan. India is a big country and advertising through cinema will become a more effective method of demonstrating Azerbaijan's possibilities. Such films will also affect the flow of tourists from India," said Bagirov.

The head of AzTA noted that today Azerbaijan is interesting for filmmakers, because elements of such cities as Paris, London, Dubai, etc. can be found in the Azerbaijani capital.

"We are also working on attracting video bloggers to Azerbaijan, in particular from Arab countries that have a wide audience in social networks," said Nahid Bagirov.

Speaking about priorities for 2019, Bagirov noted that this is an active participation in the Indian market, as well as efforts to preserve the Arab market.

"We notice that there is some decline among Arab tourists, particularly among tourists from the UAE. Arab tourists are very popular among other countries. Almost the whole world wants to attract Arab tourists to their country, who spend their money there," Bagirov added.

As for the regions of Azerbaijan that are popular among tourists, Bagirov noted that the main influx of tourists is observed in Gabala.

"The infrastructure is very developed in Gabala, there are a lot of hotels, modern ski resort located there. And this area is popular among Arab tourists. Today, Indian tourists also went there. It's nice that an Indian restaurant has already been opened in Gabala. This is evidence of something," said the head of AzTA, while noting that other regions of the country, such as Ganja, Mingachevir, Lankaran, need to be developed, which will increase the number of nights tourists spend in hotels of Azerbaijan.

In addition, Bagirov emphasized that Azerbaijan is a very safe country, and political and economic stability play an important role in attracting tourists to the country.

Pakistan became the second country after Turkey that recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991. The diplomatic relations between two countries were established on June 9, 1992.

Recently it has become known that direct flights will be opened between Azerbaijan and Pakistan. They will create new business opportunities between two countires in the tourism industry.

AzerbaijanPakistan relations are considered to be of "strategic partners" nature.

The strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Pakistan has contributed to the cooperation in economic, trade, military-technical, energy, tourism and other spheres.

In addition, Azerbaijan took part at the international travel and tourism exhibition "Pakistan Travel Mart" that was held in Karachi in October 2018.

The promotion of tourism potential of Azerbaijan, simplification of visa regime for Pakistani citizens and the launch of the ASAN Visa system increased the number of Pakistani tourists visiting Azerbaijan.

Compared to 2016, the number of Pakistani people who travel to Azerbaijan has increased six-fold in 2017.

In 2017, the number of Pakistani citizens, visiting Azerbaijan was between 20,000 25,000.

The number of Pakistani tourists visiting Azerbaijan has increased by more than eight times over the past two years.

As many as 17,558 Pakistani tourists came in Azerbaijan in 2017, 3,998 in 2016, 2,193 in 2015, and 1,817 tourists in 2014.

According to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $8.34 million in January-September 2018. The bulk of the turnover fell on Pakistani exports to Azerbaijan. Compared to the same period of 2017, trade turnover has increased by 22.46 percent.

In 2017, trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Pakistan amounted to $5.2 million. Around $402,470 of this amount accounted for export of Azerbaijan's products to Pakistan, and $4.8 million accounted for import of Pakistani products to Azerbaijan.

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