By Amina Nazarli
A mysterious and beautiful land, Azerbaijan offers you so much to see and explore: from Gobustan Petroglyphs to Shahdag, to the skyscrapers of Baku, to the Old City, and beyond…
In 2017 Baku, should continue to be the best seller, where you can get the maximum experience of Azerbaijani culture and history for one destination. The Old City and Ateshgah draw thousands of visitors every year, especially in March.
Starting mid-March the country is expected to welcome a new flow of travelers. Many tourists have already booked hotels for the forthcoming Novruz Bayram, which will be marked in March.
The joyful, merry holiday of Novruz, having a lot of customs, ceremonies, performances, games and songs, also traditionally mark a large tourist flow to the country from the neighboring countries.
Muzaffar Agakarimov, the adviser of the Chairman of Azerbaijani Tourism Association said in general, these rooms are booked by tourists from Arab countries and Iran.
"The country will mainly welcome tourists from Iran and Arab countries including Iraq, the UAE and Qatar, “he said, adding that the influx of tourists is expected to continue until the end of summer.
“In summer the numbers of Russian tourists wild surely rise. Moreover, in connection with medical tourism we expect to host tourists from Kazakhstan," he said.
Agakarimov added that the application of e-visa will stimulate the process.
“After the application of electronic visas the number of tourists who are interested in Azerbaijan increased. Residents of such distant countries as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, India and Pakistan have already showed interest in Azerbaijan. Therefore, Azerbaijan also expects tourists from these countries,” he said.
Earlier in December, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Nazim Samadov said that the number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan since the beginning of 2016 increased by 11 percent.
He emphasized that the number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan from Arab countries increased by 8 times, while the number of tourists from the UAE rose by 33 times.
The upcoming Islamic Solidarity Games, which will bring together athletes from 57 Muslim states to Baku this May, also may raise the interest of Arab tourists to sunny Caucasus country to get closely familiar with this wonderful country.
Mountains, forests, farmlands, coastal areas, rich natural resources and nine out of a possible eleven distinct climate zones from subtropical to alpine climates provide Azerbaijan with a broad range of natural environments that can be used to develop a range of tourism activities and to attract a diverse group of tourists.
In addition to the natural and rural attractions, Azerbaijan has a rich history that resulted from its incorporation into the strongest of early empires; it had been ruled by the Persians, Romans, Arabs, and Seljuk Turks.