Turkey ranks first in the number of tourists coming to Azerbaijan, the Caspian country’s Tourism Office Vice Chairperson Bahruz Asgarov said Monday.
He added that the number of tourists from Turkey in January-May this year was 116,243, surpassing Russia, where a total of 115,468 tourists visited Azerbaijan in the same period.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Asgarov said Azerbaijan is a very good destination for congress, meetings and event tourism.
“We have both modern infrastructure and enormous event halls. Besides, we can receive tourists from many countries due to our strategic and geographical location. There are both luxury and boutique hotels in Azerbaijan. This makes it possible to receive tourists and participants from every budget,” he said.
Expressing that there are very good relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan, both institutions and at the state level, Asgarov said that this situation offers great opportunities for doing business between the two countries.
He said many people visit Turkey from Azerbaijan for health tourism and that they also offer such services in their country, noting: “We have advanced spa and wellness services.”
Asgarov reported that they established a health tourism center based on oil found in Naftalan city.
“The oil there is very healing, but we get fewer tourists from Turkey,” he said, mostly due to lack of knowledge and advertising.
Stating that it is very easy to travel between Turkey and Azerbaijan, as there is no requirement for a visa or even a passport and it is possible to come to Azerbaijan with only an ID card, Asgarov said, “Turks mainly come to Azerbaijan for business tourism.”
“But in recent years, we see that cultural tourism has also increased. Recently, YouTubers and influencers from Turkey have started to come frequently.”
Pointing out that the tourism potential between Turkey and Azerbaijan may increase, Asgarov said: “Actually, there is a situation between us and Turkey; everybody knows that Azerbaijan exists, but they do not have full knowledge of Azerbaijan’s tourism potential.”
“They think they know Azerbaijan, but the moment they arrive, they see a different country, that we have a different culture, and that although we are similar, we have a different and unique culture, and that we have beautiful places,”
The protocol enabling Turkish and Azerbaijani citizens to travel between the two countries using only their identity cards came into effect in April last year.
After Azerbaijan lifted the visa requirement for Turkish citizens, both countries’ residence periods without a visa were increased to 90 days from 30 days on Feb. 25.