Tourism in Azerbaijan
Tourism in Azerbaijan
The Contract of the Century signed between Azerbaijan and the Consortium of the leading oil companies of the USA, England, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Russia, Japan, Turkey and Italy considerably increased the interest towards Azerbaijan.
The policy of “Open Doors” carried out by the Azerbaijan government as well as the social and economic reformation and democratization of the society realized in the Republic allowed much more citizens of independent Azerbaijan to expand the scope of their ideas about the world and to get opportunities to visit foreign countries. In 1994 the number of Azerbaijani tourists sent abroad was 35786. In 1995 104439 tourists visited foreign countries. In 1996 the number of tourists visiting foreign states was 74045. For the first quarter of 1997 this number was 31470.
The visits of foreign tourists to Azerbaijan has also increased. The number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan was 43551 in 1994 and 44934 – in 1995. In 1996 the number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan decreased a little. That year 16350 tourists visited Azerbaijan. For the first quarter of 1997 this number was 6767.
From 1994 to the first quarter of 1997 the income of the state from foreign tourism was $181 million.
This process will be fostered by the “Law on Tourism” prepared with the consideration of international standards, Hague declaration on tourism, recommendations of the International Tourism Organization and the world experience on the development of tourism industry.
Agreements on cooperation in the field of tourism have been signed with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Greece, China, France, Islamic Republic of Iran, Romania, Turkey and CIS countries. The agreements provide for coordination of the cooperation between administrative bodies in the field, working out joint projects directed in the creation of new kinds of services, training of personnel, exchange of representatives, expert groups as well as a literature, organization of exhibitions, congresses, conferences and cultural events, a realization of measures reducing formality regarding tourist exchanges. In this respect a work on preparing a package of documents with representatives of a number of states is being carried out.
Since 1994 the direct contacts have been set up with the foreign tourist companies: 41 agreements and contracts on tourist exchange have been signed. Azerbaijan is a member of the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation and International tourist organization “Eurasia”.
Azerbaijan has a great potential for developing the tourism industry – ancient cities, fortresses, palaces, mausoleums, mosques, towers “Garavanserais” (ancient oases). There is the unique museum-reservation “Gobustan”, the fire worshipper’s temple “Ateshgah”, the Palace of Shirvanshahs, Maiden Tower. There are more than 6 thousand historical monuments of architecture preserved in the territory of Azerbaijan.
The natural climatic conditions of Azerbaijan are also unique. As it is well known, out of 11 climatic zones 9 exist in Azerbaijan.
There are also the mineral resources, rich fauna and flora.
And finally, there are national traditions and an exquisite national cuisine.