Destination focus: Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, or the ‘Land of fire’ as it positions itself, has become a popular destination for tourists from all over the world in recent years.

An exciting mix of eastern and western influences, the country offers a range of opportunities from city and cultural tourism, event tourism, and treatment and health tourism. These sectors are only expected to strengthen as the country hosts more major global sporting events and more spas and clinics open up.
In 2018, the country is predicted to welcome 2.15 million people, bringing tourism income up to $3.3bn USD.
Tourists from Turkey were some of the most frequent visitors in 2017, with the World Travel and Tourism Council  reporting that 660,000 Turkish tourists visited the country in 2017. In return, Turkey is the number 1 destination for tourists from Azerbaijan, with 2017 seeing 1.48 million Azerbaijani tourists visit Turkey.
Ahead of EMITT 2019, we caught up with Aykhan Shikhlinskiy, Communication Manager at the Azerbaijan Tourism Board to find out more about this destination and what we can expect to see from the country at EMITT 2019.

Aykhan, what brings you back to EMITT and what are you looking to promote?

Turkey is one of our top tourist destinations and EMITT 2019 is the perfect landscape to reach our business goals in this geography. We’re pleased to be at EMITT and we expect it to be a great opportunity for collaborations and partnerships with buyers from Turkey and the Middle East

Is tourism growing in Azerbaijan and what are the key source markets you are focusing on attracting?

There‘s been a significant rise in the number of inbound tourists to Azerbaijan compared to last year and Turkey has been one of the leading source markets. Our main market in terms of arrivals is Russia, followed by Georgia, the Middle East, Turkey, Iran and Asia. Aside from these markets, we are also focusing on markets such as Germany, UK, China, India and South Korea.

What tourism products are you offering for 2019?

Azerbaijan is a country of unique nature, unmatched culture, and centuries of history with its customs and traditions and fine cuisine. It’s a place which will satisfy the expectations of the most sophisticated gastronomists, and of course it’s a country of Caucasian hospitality and friendliness. Besides that, we have two major upcoming events in 2019. Baku will host the Formula 1 Baku Grand Prix 2019 and the 2019 UEFA Europa League Final.

What differentiates Azerbaijan from other destinations?

Azerbaijan is often referred to as the Pearl of Caucasus and a land where eastern colours combine magnificently with western progress. Due to its advantageous geographical location and favourable climatic conditions Azerbaijan can fulfil the needs of every tourist. The huge variety of summer and winter entertainment options, combined with delicious national food, historical places and famous Caucasian hospitality makes it a perfect travel destination.

What are the most popular attractions or activities that bring people to Azerbaijan?

Historically part of the Great Silk Road and situated at the crossroads of the geopolitical, economic and cultural interests of many nations and civilizations, Azerbaijan has an amazing historical and cultural heritage with more than 7,500 natural, archaeological, architectural, and historical monuments. The cave drawings at Gobustan, Momine-Khatun and Shirvanshah’s Palace, the Palace of Sheki Khans, the Maiden Tower, the castles of Absheron, medieval manuscripts decorated with magnificent miniature paintings, antique rugs, and works of literature, arts and sculpture – all of this is just a small part of the country’s rich and priceless heritage.

What type of companies will be exhibiting with you at the Azerbaijan stand at EMITT 2019?

Our team will consist of travel industry professionals from Azerbaijan; hotel representatives, the Baku Tourism Information Center and event officials to promote Azerbaijan on the Turkish market. Come and visit our stand and Take Another Look at Azerbaijan.
Discover Azerbaijan’s travel opportunities at stand A470 at EMITT 2019.

Register now for a ticket to EMITT 2019.