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30.04.2011 14:54

President Ilham Aliyev becomes familiar with 10th Azerbaijan International Tourism and Travel Exhibition

Baku, April 29 (AzerTAc). President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva have familiarized themselves with the 10th Azerbaijan International Tourism and Travel Exhibition and the 2nd Republican Domestic Tourism Exhibition held at the Baku Exhibition Centre.
The successful economic development of Azerbaijan in recent years and sustainable stability are the main factors that boost the influx of tourists into our republic. The favorable geographical location of Azerbaijan and the diversity of species of flora and fauna increase tourism opportunities in our country even more. The designation of 2011 as the Year of Tourism by President Ilham Aliyev is an important step towards developing this sphere. With its sufficient tourism potential, Azerbaijan is capable of competing with the world`s leading states in this sphere and demonstrating its possibilities. Foreigners who are interested in our country`s tourism opportunities also highly value the state`s attention to this sphere. The organization of tourism exhibitions in Azerbaijan, which has already become a venue for international events, is an indication of interest in this sphere. Such exhibitions also create favorable conditions for demonstrating our country`s tourism opportunities.
The Azerbaijan International Tourism and Travel Exhibition was held for the first time in 2002. If in 2002 the exhibition was attended by 26 companies from five countries, now their number has increased considerably. In recent years, the exhibition has been joined by about 900 companies. It is no accident that the Azerbaijan International Tourism Exhibition has become the main event in the travel industry of the Caspian region. Within the framework of the exhibition, various meetings are held, agreements on cooperation are signed and new programs, projects and spheres are identified.
The fact that the International Exhibition, which took place with the support of the Iteca Caspian company, was held at the same time as the 2nd Republican Domestic Tourism Exhibition is of special importance, because this gives foreign visitors an opportunity to familiarize themselves with Azerbaijan`s rich tourism potential, beautiful nature and medical resorts.
President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva came to the Baku Exhibition Centre to familiarize themselves with the X Azerbaijan International Tourism and Travel Exhibition and the 2nd Republican Domestic Tourism Exhibition.
Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfas Garayev said that the holding of the exhibitions in 2011, which is marked as the Year of Tourism, is a remarkable event. Azerbaijan`s tourist regions are also represented at a high level at the exhibition.
As President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva visited the Khachmaz District stand, they were informed that this district had broad tourism opportunities. One of Azerbaijan`s best-known and favorite recreational zones, Khachmaz is very good for the development of both maritime and forest tourism. At present, there are 32 licensed tourism facilities operating in Khachmaz. If in 2003 the district had one hotel or hotel-type facility, this figure has now reached 57. The presence of 62 historical monuments in Khachmaz increases the district`s tourism opportunities even more.
This potential also manifests itself in the Quba-Qusar region. This region is favorable for both winter and summer tourism. Beautiful scenery makes this region attractive for tourists in all seasons of the year. All conditions are right for receiving tourists in these districts. If eight years ago there was only one hotel in Quba, their number is currently 29. This creates broad opportunities for tourists to visit the region.
Azerbaijan`s southern region also attracts attention with its tourism potential. The head of state was informed that work carried out in recent years to develop tourism in this region, which boasts special scenery and broad holiday opportunities, is now bearing fruit. Masalli also takes a special position. The number of holiday-makers in this district, one of Azerbaijan`s beautiful regions, is increasing from year to year. At present, 22 tourism facilities are operating in the district with a licence from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The same conditions have been created in Lankaran as well. Nine tourist facilities are available to tourists here. The presence of numerous historical monuments in Lankaran has increased tourists` interest in this region even more.
The head of state and his spouse listened to a performance by the "Nanalar" folklore ensemble from Lankaran.
It was noted that Lerik is another district with broad tourism opportunities in the southern region. It was said that although there was not a single tourist facility here until 2003, their number has now reached eight.
The stand reflecting the tourism opportunities of Ismayilli District at the exhibition also interested President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva. It was said that the district`s village of Lahij, which is situated at a height of 2,500 metres above sea level, has always been famed for its artists. Lahij is visited by 8,000-10,000 tourists every year, and 80 per cent of them are foreigners. The fact that representatives of different nationalities are living together in this district is of interest to visitors.
The Azerbaijani president and his spouse watched a performance by the Ivanovka folklore group.
The stands that reflect the tourism potential of Qakh and Zaqatala districts also drew attention. The information displayed here shows that the region`s tourism opportunities are well-developed. At present, seven tourist facilities are operating in Qakh and six in Zaqatala.
It was reported that important work has been carried out in recent years to develop tourism in Shaki. This is also clear from the growing number of holiday-makers visiting the district. If in 2004 Shaki was visited by 2,800 tourists, last year their number approached 15,000.
The Qabala stand displays not only the district`s picturesque places, but also its modern hotel complexes. Last year Qabala was visited by more than 30,000 tourists. More than 4,000 of them were guests from various foreign countries. The growing number of tourists is certainly a result of the modern tourist infrastructure created in Qabala.
The tourism opportunities of Shamakhi, one of Azerbaijan`s most picturesque regions, are also displayed at a high level here. As the head of state and his wife reviewed the stand, they were informed that Shamakhi District, which draws attention with its picturesque scenery, has broad opportunities for both summer and winter tourism. Currently, 12 tourist facilities are operating in Shamakhi.
Handicrafts presented at the stand of Ganja, an ancient and modern city of our country, were more interesting. The stand also provided extensive information about recreational centres in Ganja, Goygol, Dashkasan and Hajikand.
It was noted that Nakhchivan, one of Azerbaijan`s most ancient and beautiful corners, is also successfully represented at the exhibition. Nakhchivan`s geographical position, particular climate, fauna and flora and ancient cultural monuments show the extensive tourist opportunities of the region. Medicinal waters and the Duzdag Physiotherapy Centre are of great interest to tourists.
President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva also familiarized themselves with the pavilions of foreign travel agencies at the X Azerbaijan International Tourism and Travel Exhibition.
Turkey has joined the anniversary exhibition with five companies. This is the second time that Turkey has acted as the main partner of this exhibition. In total, 230 companies from 24 countries are represented at the exhibition. The companies cover 61 spheres of tourism. The fact that this year`s exhibition is joined by more participants than last year shows the international interest in this event held in Baku. The exhibition, which represents the national stands of Egypt, Georgia, the Dagestan Republic of the Russian Federation, the Czech Republic, Greece and India, familiarizes visitors with various spheres of tourism. Seychelles, Mauritius and Maldives also presented their tourism programmes at the exhibition. Visitors can familiarize themselves with medical tourism provided by sanatoria and resorts at the Azerbaijani, Russian, Ukrainian and Czech stands. The exhibition will open new routes for Azerbaijan for the first time to such countries as Laos, Cambodia, Hungary, Vietnam, Myanmar and Mexico.
The exhibition is accompanied by an eventful business programme. For example, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has organized information tours to the exhibition for such countries as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Germany. Along with that, professionals of the tourism sphere have gained the opportunity to participate in seminars, presentations and refresher courses to be organized by the World Tourism Organization and other companies.
President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva also familiarized themselves with the "Pearl of Azerbaijan" project which is planned to be built in the Zira Island.
After that, the head of state and his wife talked to representatives of the Azerbaijan National Culinary Centre and reviewed the dishes and handicrafts they presented.
The culinary experts had a group photo taken together with President Ilham Aliyev and his wife Mehriban Aliyeva.


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