Aaron in Azerbaijan

Just another blog about Azerbaijan.

2011: Azerbaijan’s Year of Tourism?

with 2 comments

It been so decreed: 2011 is the Year of Tourism in Azerbaijan.  All sorts of goings on are heralding a new boom in tourism in the country.  This past weekend, President Aliyev was in Goranboy, at the opening of a new hotel near the Naftalan Oil BathsA new state program is being drafted by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to promote new regulations, tourism education, and improve customer service.  In President Aliyev’s announcement, he noted that the opening of five new five-star hotels was going to be an unprecedented event in the year 2011.

I can’t tell you where this is leading, really.  The government has previously noted tourism development as one of their top priorities.  In the past, they’ve also called 2010 the Year of the Environment and 2007 was the Year of Youth.  What tangible results came out of the monikers, I couldn’t say.  Instead, I can say that Azerbaijan has been on a furious tear as of late to build world-class tourism destinations.  In Baku, you now have a polished Bülvar, or boardwalk, along the Caspian, spotted with fountains, entertainment, and a big, shiny, Western-style mall.  Up north in Qusar, they are trying to finish up construction of the Shahdag ski resort.  And now the Naftalan business I noted up above. If it all works out, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is predicting a serious jump in tourists, over 2 million visitors, and possibly nearing 3-4 million.

I’m curious to see if there are any tangible results coming out of this push for tourism development.  My cynical side says there won’t be.  And episodes like this certainly won’t help.  I’m more in tune with this view of the tourism prospects for Azerbaijan.  Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised.



Written by Aaron

February 16, 2011 at 4:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I am doing research on this topic right now. I need to investigate potential of Azerbaijan tourism sector. Yes, as country Azerbaijan has great potential for tourism sector. But today current situation of tourism sector shows that development in this sector is below its potential. the reason is that tourism services are very expensive. And if you compare quality of these services you will see that it does not worth to pay such amount. It is better to go for example Turkey, Georgia and other countries and have cheaper vacation than Azerbaijan and higher services. Tourism sector is also controlled by monopolist. Monopoly is main reason that today as other sectors, tourism sector is also not well-developed.


    August 12, 2011 at 6:55 am

    • I completely agree: potential is untapped here in Azerbaijan. When the tourism sector introduces real competition, and the government actually makes steps to make travel here easier, Azerbaijan has some great strides to make. It’s a tough situation faced by tourism groups in this country.


      August 22, 2011 at 5:47 pm

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