Reported by: Khalid Taimur Director Foreign Affairs TN Media News.
The sustainable development of the tourism sector, which has a special place in the development of the non-oil sector, entrepreneurship and the growth of budget revenues, is one of the important directions of economic policy pursued in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan, which plays a stabilizing role in the region and is known as a “security island”, has made significant progress in combating the new type of coronavirus, and the lifting of restrictions with few exceptions has re-enhanced the country’s international tourism attractiveness.
Acceleration of socio-economic development, expansion of international relations, as well as Technofest Azerbaijan, Baku Global Forum, Formula 1 and other events have a positive impact on the development of tourism. It is no coincidence that the direct share of the tourism industry in the country’s GDP and employment is 4.5 and 3.3 percent, respectively. It is also noteworthy that in January-April 2022, 330,600 foreigners and stateless persons came to Azerbaijan from 151 countries, or twice as many as in the same period last year.
Sanctions imposed on Russia by Europe and a number of other countries in connection with the known war in Ukraine increase the importance of our country as a regional tourist route. In the first quarter of the year, 27.4% of foreign tourists visiting Azerbaijan were Russian citizens.
It should be reminded that President Ilham Aliyev’s September 1, 2016 “On simplification of the procedure for issuing electronic visas and the establishment of the” ASAN Visa “system”, as well as on February 20, 2017 “On additional measures to accelerate the flow of tourists to the Republic of Azerbaijan” The Strategic Roadmap for the Development of the Specialized Tourism Industry in the Republic of Azerbaijan, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan dated December 6, 2016, has set new goals as a fundamental document that stimulates the development of this sector.
As noted in the Strategic Road Map, the capital city of Baku, with its modern infrastructure and ancient historical monuments, has a large share in Azerbaijan’s global tourism sector and attracts foreign tourists who prefer business and leisure. This is also due to the fact that 75-80 percent of the tourist centers preferred by tourists are located in the capital. Taking into account the above, special attention is paid to the implementation of successful tourism projects in Baku, the creation of modern urban infrastructure.
The initial impression of each state usually begins with an acquaintance with its capital. Speaking about this reality, President Ilham Aliyev pays special attention to the landscaping, construction and reconstruction work carried out in Baku. The head of state identified the modernization of Baku’s appearance, protection of its historical and cultural image, and development on the basis of modern urban planning and architectural elements as important tasks. While getting acquainted with the General Plan of the capital, he stressed the importance of ensuring the uniqueness of each avenue and street, neighborhood, protection of existing greenery, creation of new greenery, recreation areas.
Despite the negative impact of the pandemic on the economy and the tourism sector over the past two years, the continuation of measures to modernize the image of Baku, its villages and settlements is a clear indication of the state’s support for social and development projects. The creation of dozens of new parks, recreation areas, neighborhoods in the capital, the extension and overhaul of Baku Boulevard, the ecological cleaning and landscaping of Boyukshor Lake, the creation of a forest park in Yasamal district confirm the sensitive attitude to human health, recreation and prosperity projects.
The demolition of the Sovetsky residential area, the establishment of the Central Park, the Winter Park, as well as new greenery in the Khatai district, the implementation of the White City project are important elements of modernization and reconstruction of the capital. The return of illegally occupied territories in a number of districts of Baku to the state fund on the instructions of President Ilham Aliyev and the construction of new parks is also a significant contribution to improving the environment and protecting human health.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is closely involved in the modernization, reconstruction and implementation of important social infrastructure projects in the villages and settlements of Baku. The unique reconstruction and landscaping works carried out by the Foundation in Balakhani, Pirshagi, Bibiheybat and other settlements of Baku, “Abad Hayat” projects are welcomed by the residents of the capital. On the initiative of the head of the Foundation, First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva, the establishment of the Gala Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum Complex, Zira Cultural Center (ECO Park), large-scale landscaping works in Balakhani and other settlements, along with preserving the historical past of Absheron, serves to become one of the centers.
The commissioning of the Sharq Bazari complex on June 6 with the participation of President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva is part of the capital’s landscaping, infrastructure modernization and tourism attractiveness. Due to its unique architectural style, the Eastern Bazaar was included in the list of real estate historical and cultural monuments of national importance in 2001 by the relevant decision of the Cabinet of Ministers, but in recent years it has been unrepaired and neglected. Taking this into account, it was necessary to carry out engineering measures in order to improve the operational performance of the complex, increase its durability, and ensure its normal operation.
In general, these and other measures give impetus to the development of tourism in the country, especially to improve the position of the capital Baku in the global tourism sector.
Originally posted on AZERTAC INFORMATION AGENCY, reproduced for TN Media.