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Gabala is becoming the tourism center of Azerbaijan

Gabala is becoming the tourism center of Azerbaijan
Infrastructure in the region helps enrichment of cultural life and social and economic development

Due to state support for development of entrepreneurship, many projects have been implemented, new manufacturing, tourism facilities opens and in general a modern infrastructure was built in Gabala. All this has contributed to enrichment of cultural life of the region and social and economic development. As a result of these measures, Gabala has become one of the famous tourist destinations in Azerbaijan. Gabala and the neighboring villages offer the visitors professional service, excellent conditions, modern hotels unlike any other and other tourist facilities, international airport, medical-diagnosis center as well as well organized tourism buses. During 20-21 February, an info-tour event entitled “Role of mass media in tourism development” in Gabala in order to get better acquainted with the tourism potential of the region as well as supporting Azerbaijani tourism in general. The event, held by one of the most modern and professional Azerbaijani hotel brands “Group of Caucasus Hotels” were attended by representatives of about 30 media outlets. Here, they were informed about tourism potential of the region, and got better acquainted with “Group of Caucasian Hotels” which have 13 hotels in Azerbaijan and 8 hotels in Gabala alone. 


Medicinal mineral water

In the first day of excursion, journalists visited “Yengice Thermal and Spa” hotel in Yengice village of Gabala. After dinner, head of “SPA” health center in the tourist facility, Rashad Abdulhalimov showed media workers around the hotel. In the 5-floor hotel, surrounded by flowers, there are every conditions available for customers. There are overall 61 rooms in the hotel:  12 “standard twin”, 38 “standard queen”, 10 “junior suite” and 1 “king suite”. 

Each room is supplied with central heating, air conditioner,  flat screen, cable TB, mini bar, safe, bathroom and so on.Abdulhalimov stated that the hotel met modern standards and it was a unique recreational center. What makes it unique is the local medicinal water. He offered bottled mineral waters to journalists too and added that historical studies, chemical and medical researches had revealed that this mineral water had high medicinal value. According to him, this mineral water, located in Yengice, have long been used for medicinal purposes by inhabitants of the village. Nowadays, Yengice mineral water is considered to be beneficial in the treatment of bone, rheumatic, joint pains, skin diseases and osteochondrosis. 

Healing Naftalan oil in Yengice 

It should be noted that, famous Naftalan oil as a treatment is also served in the hotel. The unique ingredients in Naftalan oil gets rid of toxins in the body and had healing qualities. Professional staff at SPA center ensures the easy and comfortable recreation of the guests. According to Abdulhalimov, the center has separate massage cabinets, separate Turkish bathes for women and men, saunas and steam bathes. There is a restaurant within the hotel to ensure high quality food for guests. A variety of both local as well as international food is offered to customers.  Some others services the hotel offers for visitors include a gym, closed pool , kids club, playroom, Russian and American billiards. In his opinion, hotel is particularly interesting for fishing fans during summer season. It is an irreplaceable enjoyment for fans of hobby to catch fish from the nearby lake and cook it over barbecue. As for prices, Abdulhalimov says they are offering reasonable prices for customers, taking into account the realities of Azerbaijan. 

Irreplaceable destination for skiers

After getting familiar with the hotel in Yengice, media representatives went to 5-star  “Caucasus Sport Hotel” and discussed the tourism potential of the region. On February 21, journalists headed to “Tufandag” Winter-Summer Recreational Complex. “Tufandag” is of the most modern mountain skiing destinations in Caucasus. Head of customer service at the tourist center, Samir Jafarov stated that the complex was opened on January 3, 2014. He said the complex had two floors and all work was done in the first floor. According to him,10 skiing routes of 17 kilometers long, as well as hotel, cafe, restaurant and “Fastfood” was available to customers: “Skiing, walking on scooters and other services are offered here. Traveling on cableway is free of charges for kids under 6 and it costs AZN 10 for everyone over 6. This price will let customers use cableway up to 4 times a day. There are daily and half daily skiing services available. In addition, customers may make use of 2, 3,4 or even one week skiing services and price differs for each of these services. For instance, if a person wants to use skiing services for a week, they have to pay AZN 100. He is provided with skiing equipments. That customer may use these equipments from 9 am to 5 pm every day for a week. In order to rent these services for half a day, they have to pay AZN 30. A daily skiing cost AZN 45”. 

Potential to serve up to 3500 customers a day 

Jafarov said they kicked off season on December 18. He said, compared to the previous year, more customers are visiting the complex: “We received 9 thousand tourists last January. This year we surpassed 15 thousand tourists. 3 thousands visitors used our facility this season compared to 1700 last year. Since its inception, our facility has received about 300 thousand guests. 10% of them were from other countries including Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Iran, South-East Asia, European and Arab countries.  A lot of foreigners still visit our complex. For example, 2 buses full of tourists from Pakistan and Sri-Lanka recently visited our tourist center. In general, we have to capacity to serve up to 3500 customers. But last summer, we accepted over 3600 tourists who used aerial cableway. We are planning on continuing skiing season until March 15 this year. But this depends on weather conditions. If the weather is cold, we will be able to receive winter tourists. The number of workforce depend on the season. There are currently 110 people working on this facility. In summer, it ranges between 70-80. Staff members can speak English, Russian, German, Arabic to communicate with tourists . We are currently working on the second floor of the complex. In summer months of 2016, we will start work on construction of 4 more cableway and 12 skiing routes. Thus, the visitors will be able to the highest peak of the Great Caucasus mountains”. 

One step ahead of rivals 

Media workers were given detailed information about “Caucasus Tufandag Hotel”. It was told that, the hotel, which was opened in 2015, was one step ahead of its competitors when it came to comfort and high quality service. Tufandag hotel offers both weekend and weekday packages for customers. By paying AZN 179 for 2 persons, customers may stay at a room for two, as well as get breakfast, use SPA and fitness services, receive free skiing equipments and clothes and an access card to skiing routes. It was also mentioned that, the hotel was introducing a special campaign for Novruz which was valid from 19 to 28 March. Those who are interested will be able to stay in two bedroom room for AZN 72 and for 116 (breakfast, SPA, Holiday show program, musicians, DJs, etc included) from 22 to 24 March. 

Later, journalists used some of the services Tufandag Winter-Summer Tourism Recreational Complex had to offer. They were trained by hotel stuff on how to ski and later had fun during the activity. 

Rufik ISMAYILOV


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