Chance to turn Novruz tourism brand
Economy30 March 2016, 18:41 710
Various predictions were reported in the media about increasing number of tourists specially Iranian tourists during Novruz holiday. Indeed, the number of Iranian tourists were much more than it was expected. This is good opportunity for growth of Azerbaijani tourism sector. However, Iranian and other tourists faced with some troubles in Azerbaijan during their visits. Banks were closed during the holiday and tourists met problems in exchange of foreign currency over it. Tourists had to exchange their currency in black market.
Another factor was that tourists stayed at homes not in hotels. The reason of it was lack of hostels and 2 and 3 stars hotels. Generally, the visit of Iranian tourists is a good chance for Azerbaijani tourism.
More flights, simpler customs procedures
Head of "Luna Travel” tourism agency Rahman Guliyev told Kaspi that it needs more flights, simpler customs procedures for atrraction more Iranian citizens to Azerbaijan: "During Novruz holiday we may open additional flights to Tebriz, Tehran. At the same time, it is possible to make Tehran-Bakı-Tehran flight tickets cheaper than Bakı-Tehran-Bakı flight. As well as, we must organize an Iranian tourist’s custom check duration not more than 5-7 minutes.
According to R.Guliyev main problems tourists faced were foreign exchange issue: "The problem can be solved in several ways. Banks have not worked for 9 days. Consequently, tourists faced with problems over it. They had to exchange their currency in black market. In this case, they could be given counterfeit money: " We don not call Central Bank to change its work principles. But we offer, Central Bank to give authority to hotels to change foreign currency as in other world countries. The ability must be given to hotels for foreign exchange. Development of low-budget hotels should be organized. If we want to attract more tourists to our country then we need to establish low-budget hotels.: "Banks do not give loans these days. Especially, it may allocate funds for the construction of 2 and 3 stars hotels in the regions and those hotels to be built will be exempt from income tax for 3 years as well as, from land tax for 10 years. Currently, we have some such kind of hotels. However, there are high prices in those hotels. Prices begin from 50-60 euro. Main goal is attraction of more tourists to Azerbaijan
Next Novruz more Iranians may come to Azerbaijan
Ecomic expert Perviz Heydarov told that flow of Iranian tourists to our country is natural: " Firstly, Novruz holiday is highly celebrated in both countries. It means there are mutual features. Secondly, there are more free and great environment and opportunities in Azerbaijan differenrt from our southern neighbour. Third, lifting sanctions on Iran will give a lot of opportunity for its citizens. Consequently, next Novruz, more Iranian tourists will visit Azerbaijan.
We must create Novruz brand
Founder of "Modern Marketing Group”, marketologist Yusif Veliyev told that visit of Iranian tourists on the eve of Novruz holiday Iranian tourists were presumed. However tourist flow in this year was more than it was expected nad absence of high level of service and customer behavior, unpreparedness of companies made some problems: "Tourists came here with large-scale currency. But banks were closed. There were problems on hotels and restaurants service and price level. It must be confessed that today customer satisfaction and work on this sphere is not satisfactory. Mainly, this field should be improved. Y. Veliyev told that it is difficult to attract tourists in the New Year. As this holiday is celebrated more traditionally in other countries. But Novruz traditions have been improved significantly in Azerbaijan than other countries.
By the way, according to fins.az tourists’ interest to Azerbaijan have significantly increased . Russian newspaper "Kommersant" reported it.
Director of "Delfin” tour agency Sergey Romaşkin noted remarkable growth (50 %) in number of booked tours to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia.
Prices must fall and service level rise
Expert on online tourism Gurbaneli Omer told that visa regime must be simplified with several countries in order to get more tourists: " Prices must drop. It is more expensive in Azerbaijan in comparison with Iran and Turkey. Hotels in Turkey cheaper. What can offer Azerbaijani hotels more superior than those hotels ? We have historical and cultural closeness with Iranians. But they refuse to visit our country over high prices”.
According to Gurbaneli Omer level of service is lower than in neighbouring countries.