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Monday, 21 January, 2019, 12 : 30 PM [IST]

Azerbaijan Tourism hopes to double Indian tourists riding on the improving connectivity scenario

Action plan ready for both B2B and B2C destination promotions
The National Tourism Board of Azerbaijan, is set to strengthen their engagement with the travel trade and consumer market in India. Having received 40,000 Indian visitors in 2018, 175% growth over the previous year targets to further double the visitations in 2019. With this objective, the Tourism Board participated in the recently concluded SATTE in Delhi NCR with an array of private industry stakeholders.
Conceding that the rise in numbers from India was largely due to heavy push by airlines like Air Arabia, Fly Dubai, Etihad, etc. which started Baku connectivity in 2018, Florian Sengstschmid, CEO, Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) said that connectivity is all poised to improve in the next couple of months with Azerbaijan Airlines commencing direct flight between Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and Delhi.  Similarly, an Indian carrier is also expected to connect Baku for which negotiations are on, Sengstschmid informed. “The direct connectivity will certainly help in generating more tourist traffic between India and Azerbaijan,” he said.

Major chunk of Indian visitors to Azerbaijan now are involved in Corporate MICE and for Baku, the CEO said.  Therefore, the focus is to create awareness about the Tourism assets of the country to a wider audience, especially family segment.  “April to October is super pleasant for family holidays in Azerbaijan,” he said.  With lush green mountains, valleys, skiing resorts in the North and desert South, Azerbaijan has diverse of landscapes and tourism assets, he said.  “Our tourism assets are still untouched because tourism is new in the country.  Azerbaijan still thrives on its oil and gas resources.  Nature is still untouched,” he said.   

Sengstschmid said, this can offer the same comfort that any other European country can offer in an affordable manner.  A Baku travel package for 3 nights would be available as low as USD 200 wit transfer, sightseeing, food, etc., he added. Moreover, Azerbaijan offers e-Visa facility for travellers which enable travellers to get Visa online within 3 hours of application.

Among the niche segments, Azerbaijan will be exploring luring film tourism from India.  The Tourism Board is currently in the process of formulating a framework to incentivise film production units aspiring to shoot films in Azerbaijan, he said.  

As part of strengthening the market engagement, ATB will be holding several roadshows in mega cities in India.  This will include MICE and corporate events specific roadshows.  Simultaneously, ATB will also embark on digital consumer campaigns as well in India, the CEO said.

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