By Amina Nazarli
Azerbaijan and Russia, the two neighbors and friends, will cooperate more closely in the field of tourism henceforth.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has approved a draft agreement between the governments of Azerbaijan and Russia on cooperation in the field of tourism.
The Culture Ministry in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry was tasked to negotiate with Azerbaijan and after reaching an understating to sign an agreement on behalf of the Cabinet of Ministers of Russia.
Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) earlier reported that Azerbaijan took the 15th place in the number of foreign trips of Russian in 2016, thus leaving behind countries such as Greece, Turkey, the UAE, Bulgaria and France.
Deputy Head of the Tourism Department of the Azerbaijani Culture and Tourism Ministry Rauf Pashayev previously said that Russia and Azerbaijan consider creation of joint tourism packages to attract tourists from China.
Azerbaijan’s tourism industry is growing rapidly year after year, and today Russian tourists make up more than 32 percent of the total number of tourists visiting the country.
Russians choose Azerbaijan as their travel destination for many reasons. First of all the Land of Fire does not require visa for Russian tourists to enjoy the country.
Azerbaijan is also a perfect destination for Russian tourists, because of its people’s very friendly attitude towards Russia. Here Russian-speaking tourists have no problem with communication, as Azerbaijanis speak Russian well enough to help with any difficulties.
The rising tourist flow from Russia is also linked with major events, including the Formula 1 Grand Prix of Europe and Music Festival "Jara" (Heat) held in summer 2015, active promotion of the country’s tourism in the Russian market and new flights launched between the Russian and Azerbaijani cities. The national travel offices have been opened in Russia.
Moreover, the countries plan to expand the number of direct flights, which today is carried out in six directions between the two countries.