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Tourism sector prepares for winter season in Azerbaijan

Tourism sector prepares for winter season in Azerbaijan
Experts believe that it is necessary to achieve a year-round tourism industry

"Preparation for winter tourism has begun in connection with seasonal change. Thus, local tourism companies have started to send winter tour packages in Azerbaijan to foreign tourists," Nahid Bagirov, chairman of the Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA), told the press. According to him, local tourism companies mainly deal with mountain-skiing tourism. "Winter tourism is the most topical issue after the summer season. It will be opened on December 1.”
 
The association chairman said that the most popular winter tourism in the world is connected with skiing. He noted that this sector is developing in Azerbaijan year by year. "Every year, more and more foreign professional skiers come to our country for winter tourism. We hope that the number of tourists coming to our country in winter will increase this year. Looking back, we see that many professional skiers have chosen Azerbaijan, and especially Shahdag for winter holiday.”
 
According to representative of the State Tourism Agency Kenan Guluzade, development of tourism industry should not depend on seasonal changes. "According to the preparations and the work done, more tourists are expected to come in this winter season. At present, the main focus is directed at the Tufandag and Shahdag tourism complexes. Of course, there will be enough tourists in the capital too, but I would like to note that in recent years, interest towards our regions has increased in the winter season. Today, the major task of the tourism sector is to achieve a year-round tourism industry. That is, regardless of a season or weather, we want to ensure annual activities of all enterprises in the tourism sector. Tourism companies have also become active lately. They offer new services, routes.”
 
Chairman of the SKAL Baku Club organization of tourism professionals Jeyhun Ashurov noted that winter tourism in Azerbaijan has developed enough. "Although even local tourists preferred neighboring countries for winter holiday previously, now they use the services of national infrastructure. Tufandag and Shahdag tourism complexes operating in our regions are not left behind world standards. According to the World Tourism Organization’s assessment, nearly one third of tourists prefer traveling in winter. In Azerbaijan, these statistics are 5-6 percent of the total number of tourists coming to our country. Experience shows that our seasonal complexes are full in weekends. On the contrary, there are fewer people on weekdays. In order to achieve profitability and development of this area, tourism marketing must be made so that we have a flow of tourists during every day of every season. In this regard, I think it is possible to hold some competitions, games that can cause the interest of tourists. Also, certain promotions and discounts in the field of service may attract people's attention. It is necessary to increase the number of tourism packages and put an end to seasonal dependence. On the other hand, there must be mutual talks between tourism companies and complexes. There is a goal set by any tourist object: to provide the rest and entertainment of tourists according to their budget. Such issues require serious marketing strategies. I think that certain planned work will be done in this direction, and tourism will be developed in the future.”
 
Rahman Guliyev, Director of the Luna Travel Agency, said that this year’s winter tours are in line with customer requirements. "We do not offer stable tour packages. Each customer has a demand base which envisages both service and price. Our agency attaches great importance to the opinions of tourists visiting or leaving our country. We arrange their tour packages according to their wishes. Tourists travel mainly to neighboring countries. For example, they choose Dubai because the prices there are profitable and the service is at a high level. We have also new offers regarding tourists coming to Azerbaijan. First, we explore the general market, study the opinions of tourists, and on the basis of all this, we offer our services to hotels. For example, we make recommendations for a more interesting New Year celebration. Some tourists just want to have a quiet rest. So, we prepare an appropriate tour package. Our goal is to make all tourists coming to our country to be satisfied with us. Due to our great attention to such issues, the number of visitors to our country has increased in the last few years. I think, Azerbaijan will become one of the countries having best tourism potential over time.”
 
Gunel Azade

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