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Wednesday, 11 September, 2019, 11 : 00 AM [IST]

Azerbaijan is the latest trend amongst Indian leisure, business & film producers: Ambassador

Ashraf Shikhaliyev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to India, has said that the dynamics of travel and tourism relationships between Azerbaijan and India is changing rapidly and Azerbaijan is the “hot topic” in tourism, destination weddings and film shooting for Indians. He was speaking while flagging off the first three-city Azerbaijan Tourism Road show in Delhi. The road show will travel to Mumbai and Bengaluru.

Around 350 Indian companies have established their base in Azerbaijan taking advantage of the pro-investment policies of the government, he said. The Indian investment to Azerbaijan is to the tune of USD 1.2 billion and the “interest is growing”, he added. As per the latest World Bank Report for ‘Ease of Doing Business’, Azerbaijan ranked 25 among countries of the world.  

“We want to redefine MICE travel between India and Azerbaijan. We want more and more Indian companies to do their MICE programmes in Azerbaijan,” Ambassador Shikhaliyev said.

Talking about film tourism, Ambassador Shikhaliyev said that films can be shot at one-third the cost of Paris in Baku with similar settings.

Around 40,000 Indian tourists visited Azerbaijan last year, and the numbers till August this year have already crossed the 2018 figure, said Florian Sengstschmid, CEO, Azerbaijan Tourism Board. He said that direct connectivity has helped the cause of travel and tourism between India and Azerbaijan, and they expect air connectivity to improve further from the next tourism season.  

‘Tourism is the cornerstone of Azerbaijan’s diversified economic growth and the recent investments in tourism and country promotion are testimony to the fact that Azerbaijan is poised to become a premium MICE destination with a well-developed corporate infrastructure equipped to host large scale business meetings and conferences,” Sengstschmid said.

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