» Tourism-related projects and events
Tourism-related projects and events
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism carrying out state policy in Azerbaijan in the field of tourism implements the action plan in the field of the recognition of the existing tourism potential in the international arena, organization of travel of a large number of tourists to Azerbaijan, the development of various kinds of tourism, creation of modern tourism infrastructure, etc.
In accordance with the requirements of the State program " The development of tourism in the Republic of Azerbaijan for years 2002-2005 " approved by President of Azerbaijan H. Aliyev the hotels built to international standards in the field of tourism, a number of leading international investment companies has been involved in the country. Basing on opinions of experts invited from Turkey and master plan on the long-term development of tourism prepared on grant allotted by USA Trade and Development Agency the specialists of "Caspian Group Consulting" company winner of the tender announced by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Azerbaijan, the staff of the Ministry has prepared the State program " The development of tourism in the Republic of Azerbaijan for years 2008-2016 " , which will give impetus to development of tourism improvement of personnel training for tourism, increasing of number of accommodations, development of various kinds of tourism. In addition, in accordance with the requirements of the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan "The exemplary Charter of tourism and recreation areas" has been developed.
During this period, number of historical and cultural monuments have been restored which is to be used as the object of tourism and given in use of tourists.
Every year September 27 is celebrated as "World Tourism Day". Within the events arranged on that day, as well as every year "National Domestic Tourism Conferences» on various topics like current problems in tourism and discussion of the ways of its settlement, improving the level of service in the field of tourism, creation of tourism infrastructure, etc. are held. Also during this period, the International Tourism Exhibition has been held with the participation of tourist companies, tourist service facilities.
At the same time, for recognition of the country's tourism potential at the international level the info-tours were organized for tourism companies of Germany and Austria, representatives of mass media. In addition, info - tours have been organized for tourism companies operating in Azerbaijan and the representatives of mass media in Guba, Zagatala and Lerik regions. The results of info tours to the regions are the establishment of cooperation between the tourist companies and the hotels, conclusion of contracts.
In order to improve the level of service for representatives engaged in tourists service objects in the city of Baku and the regions training courses are organized by experts invited from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey on a regular basis on topics like meal, drink services, hotel management, etc.
In addition to the above, within the framework of the requirements of the Decree of "State Program on Poverty Reduction and Economic Development (2003-2005-years) in the Republic of Azerbaijan" approved by President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H. Aliyev in Sheki, Guba, Shamakhi, Sheki, Lankaran, as well as in Lahij with financial aid the World Bank "Tourist Information Centers" began to function in order tot deliver information to tourists. Besides the above-mentioned information «Tourist Information Center" was established in Ganjlik international leisure center located in Zugulba settlement of the Apsheron Peninsula in order to provide complete information to tourists about tourism services.
Within the framework of the creation of new international tourist routes the creation of route of cultural tourism in areas of former settlement of Germans in Khanlar, Tovuz, Shamkir, Agstafa regions of republic, where the Germans had left deep traces in the history, culture of Azerbaijan since the early nineteenth century, for the restoration of the monuments related to the German residence centers, restoration of historical-cultural monuments as the object of displaying in this area and creation of tourism infrastructure the measures are implemented under then name of "German settlements in Azerbaijan". Together with GTZ of Germany, the tourism development plan of Ganjabasar area is intended within the above-mentioned project. In addition to this route, within the framework of the protection of national and spiritual values and delivery to our people, as well as creation of new tourism routes the "Gamigaya cultural-tourism route", "Alexander Dumas in the Caucasus" and "Wine Roads" projects, which are planned to implement within Kiyev initiative of the Council of Europe, have been developed.
Taking into account the favorable geographical position of Azerbaijan, passing of many historical routes like "Silk Road" through the territory of Azerbaijan, today Azerbaijan takes part in tourism routes from west to east, north to south. We would like to note that, in previous years, passing of «Silk Road Bicycle Tour" project, which started in Istanbul and ended in Beijing, "On traces of the XV century traveler Afanasi Nikitinin" project, started in Russia and ended in India, through Azerbaijan is very effective in terms of propagating of the tourism potential of our country in the world.
Within the framework of the measures carried out in country the workshop on theme «Regional development, conservation and the frontier experience and perspectives of cooperation" dedicated to the development of tourism and protected areas in the South Caucasus were arranged by International Association InWent in 2004 on training and development. Tourist companies, non-governmental organizations also took part at the workshop.
At the same time in 2004, within the framework of "Protection of National Heritage" project, for representatives of tourism industry working in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic joint training courses were arranged together with the international organizations and the employees of the department gave lectures therein.
For the first time in Azerbaijan in 2003, on Sep 26, 1st Tourism Film Festival was held. The press conference was arranged with the participation of mass media related to dissemination of information on conduction of the event and more than 70 works on tourism were presented at festival, held with the participation of foreign guests and the heads of state and private institution.
In addition to those mentioned above, each year before the summer tourist season, the employees of the Ministry are sent to 30 regions for rendering aid to checking the level of readiness of tourism servicing objects in regions with great tourism potential, analyzing the conditions of road infrastructure.
Certain works have been done within the Intergovernmental Agreements on cooperation in the field of tourism. Thus, during the last 5 years, the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed agreements on cooperation in the field of tourism with the Republic of Moldova, Republic of Belarus, Qatar State, the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Kazakhstan, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the French Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Arab Republic of Egypt and the Republic of Lithuania. At present, drafts of the agreement on cooperation in the field of tourism between the Republic of Azerbaijan and 26 countries (the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Austria, Great Britain, Israel, Iran, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Hungary, Korea, Switzerland, Japan, Indonesia, the Kingdom of Brunei, Malaysia, San Marino, Marrakech, Argentina, Mexico, Macedonia, Sweden, the Philippines, Cuba and Croatia) have been prepared.
World Tourism Organization of the UNO is one of the most important organizations on multilateral cooperation in the field of tourism. The main purpose of WTO of UNO is development of tourism, which is an important factor in maintaining international peace, mutual understanding, and economic development. Republic of Azerbaijan, which joined WTO since September 2001, had participated in the many events organized by the Organization, including the assemblies, meetings of the European Commission, training courses and seminars. In addition the activity of WTO consists of providing a number of recommendations to governments on tourism issues and technical assistance. For this purpose, the technical mission sent in 2002 by WTO to Azerbaijan. The expert of organization had studied the Azerbaijan's tourism potential and made analysis and prepared the relevant report and gave recommendations in this regard. By line of WTO in April of 2003 and 2007, workshops were held in Baku. Representatives of tourism companies, hotels, Culture and Tourism sections of regions of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, universities took part in the workshops. Multilateral cooperation in the fields of culture and tourism relations with the Islamic world is growing at a high level. The cooperation carried out within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Conference and its specialized institutions, the ISESCO, IRCICA, SESRTCIC, the Islamic University of Technology, etc. organizations. In 9-12 September of 2006 our country hosted the V Conference of the Ministers of Tourism of OIC member states.
In order to promote tourism opportunities the Ministry of Culture and Tourism prepared "Information for Tourists" Guide, "Azerbaijan" cards sets, booklets like "The hotels of Azerbaijan", "Historical and architectural monuments of Azerbaijan", "Theatre and the museums of the Baku city", "Azerbaijan" and " Baku "photo albums, "Silk Road", "Carpet" booklets, tourist maps of Azerbaijan, Shusha and Garabakh, "Welcome to Azerbaijan" CD and films for 10-20 min. in DVD format. The above-mentioned publications, CD-s and DVD-s are in Azerbaijani, English, German, Arabic, Japanese, and Russian languages.
Since 2002, "Azerbaijan Review" magazine is published in Russian and English languages six times a year. Information is published in the newspaper "ATN" once a month about the work done in the field of tourism. The above-mentioned ad-print products are delivered at international tourism exhibitions to exhibition visitors, the embassies and missions to foreign countries. The advertisements on tourism potential of the republic are placed in tourist magazines published in foreign countries ("ABTA", "Travel IQ", "Faints and Projects", "TTG Russia", "Travel Unravelled", "Qde otdıxat", "Otdıx v Rossii" and the "World Travel Guide").
Starting since April 2002 «AITF" International tourism exhibition is held in Baku. The number of tourism companies of foreign countries participating in this exhibition is increasing yearly. If 26 companies from 5 countries participated in 2002, in 2007 the number of countries has increased from 18 to 60 the number of companies.
For last 5 years the geography of the exhibitions was expanded and the number of exhibitions attended reached 19 : they are international tourism exhibitions held in in London, New York, Moscow, Berlin, Beijing, Milan, Madrid, Deli, Vienna, Mumbai, Istanbul, Tokyo, Al-Kuwait, Dubai, Kiev , Tbilisi, Bahrain, Tashkent, Mahachqala.
Since 2005 in well-known foreign TV channels, advertisement trailers have been broadcasting reflecting the tourism potential of the republic. These trailers were broadcasted by "CNN" television channel for 6 months, in "Euronews" for a period of 3 months. And since 2007 the negotiations continued with the representatives of "National Geographic", "Travel Channel", "CNN", "Euronews" TV channels for continuous broadcasting of ads. Also, these ads were placed onboard magazines and on screens of aircrafts belonging to "Austrian Airlines", "British Airways" "AZAL Airlines".
As a result of this work done, the number of tourists visiting our country is increasing from year to year. The National Assembly adopted law "On Tourism" in 1999. On July 27, 1999, President of the Azerbaijan Republic Heydar Aliyev signed a decree on implementation of the Law of Azerbaijan Republic "On Tourism". This law defined the basis of the principles of state policy aimed at the establishment of the legal bases of the tourism market in the Republic of Azerbaijan, basis of tourism activity, the rules of efficient use of tourism resources as one of the means to ensure socio-economic development by regulating relations in the field of tourism.
On 25 September 2001 in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, at the XIV General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the Republic of Azerbaijan became a member of the international tourist organization. This, in turn, has created an opportunity in the country to promote tourism activities and getting the practical recommendations.
In 2001 for the first time a special disk which propagated Azerbaijan in full "Welcome to Turkey" was created and presented to the General Assembly of the WTO. In addition, the website of the disc "Tourism in Azerbaijan" has been created. For the first time in 2002 the International Tourism Fair was organized in Baku with the participation of foreign tourism companies and the support of the WTO has been provided.
For development of tourism and efficient use of tourism resources in the country with decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated August 27, 2002 the State Program "On the development of tourism in the years 2002-2005" was approved.
In September 9-12, 2006, the V Conference of the Tourism Ministers of OIC member-states was held in Azerbaijan. The conference had adopted the resolution on the development of tourism, as well as the Baku Declaration.
Azerbaijan has the right to preside during 2006-2008 years at the Islamic Conference of Tourism Ministers.
On June 21-22, 2007 in Baku "The role of tourism in the economy of the OIC member countries" the international scientific-practical conference was held.
At present, tourism is developing on the ascending line in Azerbaijan. In 2008, the number of tourists visited Azerbaijan had exceeded one million three hundred thousand people. In April 2009 at Sport and Exhibition Complex named after Heydar Aliyev 8th International Tourism Fair was held. 78 tourism enterprises from 20 countries took part in the exhibition.
Like in the countries of the world every year on September 27 «The World Tourism Day" is celebrated.