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Azerbaijan aims to increase tourist numbers by 30-40 percent

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BAKU, Azerbaijan – Azerbaijan is planning to attract more tourists in the next three to five years.

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BAKU, Azerbaijan – Azerbaijan is planning to attract more tourists in the next three to five years.

This was announced by Culture and Tourism Minister Abulfas Garayev. Addressing reporters, he said the government has developed several plans to increase the number of tourists by 30-40 percent during mentioned period.

“The Concept of Development “Azerbaijan 2020: Vision for the Future” reflects the goals and objectives for the development of tourism in the country. We expect that five million tourists to visit Azerbaijan annually by 2020. This will lead to the full-scale development of the tourism industry,” he said.

Garayev noted that the Culture and Tourism Ministry will further adopt various promotional measures to press ahead the related projects in tourism field.

“Furthermore, Azerbaijan is becoming the venue for a growing number of major international cultural, economic, sport events, which in turn will have a positive impact on the number of tourists visiting the country,” he added.

He said the revenue from tourism industry have increased by 56 times over the last 10 years, while the world average growth amounted to 10-12 percent. “It demonstrates the significant growth rate of tourism in Azerbaijan,” he said.

Speaking at Azerbaijan Investment Summit 2020 and Beyond, Accelerating Economic Development: a Look into the Future, he said, hotels operating without legal license will not be able to receive visitors during the period of 1st European Games in June 2015.

“In cooperation with the Emergency Situations Ministry , we regularly carry out monitoring operations during which the compliance services provided by hotels, standards, as well as their compliance with all necessary regulations, including safety are verified. In case of violations, the hotels’ owners will be punished according to the law, and the license of such hotels will be revoked,” he said.

He noted that hotel infrastructure continues to development in the country.

“The building of five-star hotels and hotel complexes are underway. At the same time we received two proposals for the establishment of a network of hotels. However, I believe that the tourism infrastructure in Azerbaijan is not ready to take a large mass of guests looking very cheap vacation,” Garayev told journalists.

“Even local tourists are demanding an acceptable level of standard in terms of food, sanitary and other fields at hotels. Unfortunately these conditions are not always met in all hotels. We are not against supporting the implementation of such projects, but does not consider them as a priority,” he concluded.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.