Azerbajiani President Ilham Aliyev’s official visit to Russia on Sep.1 has laid a foundation of a new era in the development of Russian-Azerbaijani relations. During the meeting held in Sochi Azerbaijani and Russian Presdidents have signed "Joint Declaration on priority areas of economic cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia”. As well as, Cooperation Program on cooperation in tourism between Azerbaijan and Russia by 2024, an action plan for the development of the main directions of the Russian-Azerbaijani cooperation (5 "roadmaps") and an agreement were signed on the development of economic cooperation between the ministries of economy. In addition , documents were signed on cooperation in the field of registration of real estate and cadastral activity, boosting of industrial cooperation, electricity transmissity lines and customs control on goods transported through the pipeline . The sides signed a memorandum of cooperation in the field of digital transport systems, protocol on mutual cooperation in the field of customs control on goods through the air transport and etc significant documents. Among the documents, the agreement on cooperation in tourism is of great importance.
It should be noted that in January-July 2018, 1,955, 3 thousand or 9.1 percent more compared to same period of previous year, foreigners from 191 countries and stateless persons visited Azerbaijan. 31.5% of them were citizens of the Russian Federation.
Chairman of the State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs, Eurasian integration and relations with compatriots, Leonid Kalashnikov told that Azerbaijan and Russia can jointly solve all problems and join efforts to improve tourism in many spheres. The Russian MP stressed the importance of boosting Azerbaijan's tourism potential in Russia: "Great development of Azerbaijan and Baku in particular is obviously seen. I have never seen such a beautiful Boulevard anywhere else. Some tourism facilities in Azerbaijan are better and interesting compared to the resorts in foreign countries. I could not imagine that Azerbaijan, taht has no natural conditions as Russia, has grown in winter tourism. I often say that Azerbaijan's resort potential should be more promoted among Russians." he said.
Kanan Guluzadeh, representative of the State Tourism Agency told "Kaspi" that the documents signed during the visit of the President of Azerbaijan to Russia envisage the development of the relations between our countries in many areas.
Underlying concrete provisions in these documents Guluzadeh stressed that the steps to be taken in these directions will allow the two countries to accomplish the targets: "The work to be done and the steps have been thoroughly taken into account. Russian citizens are at the first place among the tourists visiting Azerbaijan . It has become traditional and continues each year. More than 500,000 Russian citizens have visited Azerbaijan over the past 7 months. The number of tourists from Azerbaijan to Russia is also quite high. Taking all these into consideration , relations have been established with both the central structures of Russia and the provinces. Discussions of new prospects of mutually beneficial cooperation in tourism are being discussed." Guluzadeh told.
Kanan Guluzadeh also added that discussions on tourism routes along the Caspian region of Russia are underway: "These are historical and cultural tourism routes. For instance, there is a Alexander Duma route taht people who admire the French writer can follow the visit route executed by Duma during his the North and South Caucasus visit. There are ideas for tourists to make the Azerbaijan-Dagestani border line more comfortable to ease the Duma route. Negotiations are underway with Astrakhan provinces on this issue." he said.
According to him, holding international events in Baku, easy communication opportunity with local people makes our country attractive for Russian citizens: "Different events, presentations are held in Russia to further develop tourism. Negotiations are underway to establish tourism relations with teh Russian provinces that away from Azerbaijani border. In general, all Russian citizens, even those who are employees of law-enforcement bodies can easily choose Azerbaijan for their holidays. However, Russian law enforcement officials are prohibited traveling to many countries." Guluzadeh stressed.
Ruslan Atakishiyev, chairman of the Center of Economic Research, said the agreement on tourism cooperation between the Russian and Azerbaijani governments is of great importance: " It will have a positive impact on the tourist flow in both countries. As we know, Russian citizens are at the first place among foreigners visiting Azerbaijan. The number of Azerbaijani citizens traveling to Russia is also quite high. Taking into account such factors, in my view, the document signed on tourism during the visit of the President of Azerbaijan to Russia will contribute to the opening of favorable tourism opportunities for the citizens of both countries and lead mutual investment opportunities." Ruslan Atakishiyev told.