Azerbaijan has been selected as a country partner of the World Travel and Tourism Council's (WTTC) "Fundamentals of Hotel Sustainability" program.
The decision was announced at a press conference in Berlin, which brought together Chief Executive Officer of Azerbaijani Tourism Board (ATB) Florian Sengstschmid; President of World Travel and Tourism Council Julia Simpson; Chief Executive Officer of Sustainable Hospitality Alliance Glenn Mandziuk and Global Senior Vice President Sustainability, Security and Corporate Communications for Radisson Hotel Group Inge Huijbrechts, Azernews reports.
At a press conference, it was noted that the main goal of the program is to achieve the implementation of a number of globally accepted criteria in hotels in order to promote sustainable tourism.
The program consists of 12 criteria grouped into 3 areas: Efficiency (reducing energy and water waste, minimizing carbon emissions, etc.), Planet (reusing consumables in hotels, using environmentally friendly cleaning products, etc.), and People (benefiting the community and reducing inequality).
Speaking at the press conference, Florian Sengstschmid noted that Fundamentals of Hotel Sustainability serves as an important complement to Azerbaijan's sustainable tourism development strategy.
The Azerbaijani Hotel Association is entrusted to carry out the program in Azerbaijan.
The participants in the press conference were also informed about the Slow Food travel program, restoration works carried out in Basgal, and the role of these projects in improving the welfare of local communities, protecting fauna and flora, and supporting small businesses.
Azerbaijan's tourism potential was also showcased at the international tourism fair ITB Berlin.
For over 50 years, ITB has been showcasing the travel sector, hosting network events and trade fairs.
Nearly 15 partners, including the Azerbaijan Hotel Association, Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL), Absheron Hotel Group, InterContinental Baku, and a number of leading travel agencies, took part in the fair to promote the country's tourism potential.
Speaking at the event, CEO of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board Florian Sengstschmid, told Euronews that a lot of new projects and experiences have been developed over the past years: new hotel openings, so the industry is very active and vivid.
On the first day of the fair, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Germany Nasimi Agayev visited the country's stand.
On the same day, an event was held at the Azerbaijani national stand to present the World Travel and Tourism Organization's program "Fundamentals of hotel sustainability".
It was noted that Azerbaijan makes confident steps to develop the country's hotel industry.
Around 150 hotels have already applied to the National Star Classification, which has been successfully implemented for two years.
At the same time, the classification of about 100 hotels was completed by the end of the last year. Some 44 hotels were awarded 3,4, and 5 stars.
The increase in the number of hotels with a star certificate is expected to stimulate the growth of the hotel industry in Azerbaijan.
Major activities have also been carried out in liberated territories to revive tourism.
In the near future, Karabakh is expected to be a major tourism destination. Currently, both luxury and mid-level hotels are being built in Shusha and Agdam.