By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan's tourism recovery is gaining momentum and the State
Tourism Agency is looking into new proposals to attract
Priority attention is being given to tourism development on
Azerbaijan's territories liberated from Armenian occupation.
These and other initiatives to develop the country's tourism
industry have been discussed at a conference on the project
'Promotion of agritourism, agribusiness and food production through
consulting services, creation and development of new value chains',
Tourist complexes in liberated lands
Construction of tourist complexes is being carried out in
Hadrut, Tugh, Dashalti, Sugovushan, and Shahbulag.
The State Tourism Agency is implementing a number of projects in
Azerbaijan's liberated territories.
'We believe, in the next two years, the liberated territories
will be open to world tourism, and we will be able to receive
tourists there. Our initial predictions are that by 2025, about a
million people are more likely to visit the territories, including
both locals and foreign tourists. To do this, all the necessary
preparatory work is currently underway,' said Fuad Naghiyev.
Rural tourism in Azerbaijan
The chairman of the State Tourism Agency pointed out that the
development of rural tourism, agritourism is a good opportunity to
attract tourists to Azerbaijani districts as well as to increase
employment and create new business entities focused on tourism.
“This process can have a positive impact on achieving
sustainable rural incomes and reducing rural migration. This area
also allows us to promote cultural heritage and local gastronomy.
In turn, agritourism can stimulate the development of such areas as
ecotourism and adventure tourism. Our main goal as a government
agency is to inform farmers and other rural residents who want to
provide tourism services in addition to agricultural activities
about the use of this potential, to educate them. Relevant work has
been carried out in this direction,' Naghiyev added.
'The strategy for the socio-economic development of the Republic
of Azerbaijan for 2022-2026 provides for the creation of tourism
infrastructure in villages with potential in this area for the
balanced development of the capital and the country's districts and
as a result, an increase in the annual income of family farms
involved in the field of tourism services,' he said.
In his remarks, the chairman of the State Tourism Agency also
touched upon villages with high tourism to attract tourists.
Villages with high tourism potential have already been
identified, a list of rural guest houses has been collected, and
meetings have been held with their owners. All these measures will
show positive results in the near future, he said.
'On the whole, agritourism will have a special share in
eliminating the tourism seasonality, developing sustainable
tourism, competitive agriculture and agribusiness, and at the same
time in the socio-economic development of the regions.
In this regard, he stressed the economic and social importance
of the project on 'Promotion of agritourism, agribusiness and food
production through consulting services, creation and development of
new value chains'.
Tourism recovery after the pandemic
Fuad Naghiyev also briefed conference participants about the
pandemic's impact on the tourism sector.
'After the pandemic, the tourism sector has recovered by about
50 percent. We expect a full recovery within the next two years. We
believe that we will approach the record holders of 2019,' Naghiyev
'We have expanded our geography, we are opening new markets for
tourism. We believe that tourism will recover and positive dynamics
will continue,' Naghiyev further added.
'Azerbaijan is mainly visited by foreign citizens from certain
countries. For this year's winter season, we have conducted
marketing work mostly in the CIS, Middle East, and European
countries. The New Year holiday is coming. There are three winter
tourism complexes in Azerbaijan, Shahdag, Tufandag, and Agbulag
complex in Nakhchivan. We think that tourists will come to us from
the newly opened markets,' he concluded.
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