Azerbaijan Tourism Board (ATB) is returning to Arabian Travel Market (ATM) Dubai on May 9-12 with a large presence, together with 29 local industry partners, including Azerbaijan Airlines, and with its largest ever stand sized 230 sq m, Trade Arabia writes.
"We envision this year to be a path to pre-pandemic levels, and the Middle East will be crucial in achieving this. With this in mind, we are committed to building more relations at ATM this year with our largest ever stand and to exploring new partnership opportunities through an increased number of meetings,” said Florian Sengstschmid, Chief Executive Officer of ATB.
ATB is working extensively on its commitment to building sustainable tourism and on developing experiences of this type. These include a hundred kilometres of hiking trails, some of which are now part of the Transcaucasian Trail, such as the Sheki-Zagatala and Guba-Gusar sections, and Slow Food Travel, which will soon be expanded to the subtropical south of the country. An international birdwatching festival is also planned to be held at Shirvan National Park, known for its almost year-round abundance of species.
On the other hand, Azerbaijan is offering more and more activities for family holidays as well. Among them are the infinity swing at Tufandag Mountain Resort and the adrenaline-filled mountain coaster at Shahdag Mountain Resort. Both of these resorts offer manifold other activities, from off-road tours to waterfalls in mountains to quad biking. Travellers can also choose to visit the Safari Park or Alpaca Farm in Shamakhi, and drop by the Diri Baba Mausoleum dating from the 15th century on the way, where a substantial infrastructure upgrade has recently been carried out, including the installation of new signs and information boards.
As for the capital city Baku, there is a brand-new entertainment centre, Kinderland, at the largest mall in the Caucasus region – Deniz Mall. Here kids can enjoy their time in a small model city of Baku, while parents can relish the tranquil atmosphere and warm weather at the seaside restaurants on the Baku Boulevard, visit the Carpet Museum right next to the mall or go for a gondola ride at Little Venice.
Other exciting news from Azerbaijan for 2022 includes openings of new hotels like Ritz Carlton Baku, Hotel Indigo and Wyndham Garden as well as the new Mud Volcanoes Tourism Complex and the arts and crafts settlement of Basgal village. Moreover, there is continuous work on infrastructure upgrades in the Karabakh region, where there is a high potential to develop multiple directions from outdoor activities to health and wellness.
In 2021, Azerbaijan received more than 32,000 travellers from the GCC and more than 22,000 arrivals in the first quarter of 2022 alone. There has even been an increase from Saudi Arabia by 20% compared to the pre-pandemic figures.
Currently, citizens and permanent residents of 87 countries can travel to Azerbaijan by air, including the GCC countries. With the increased number of direct flights by the Azerbaijan Airlines, Flydubai and Qatar Airways, passengers aged over 18 can fly to Azerbaijan, submitting only a Covid passport, an official document issued by the relevant country on complete vaccination or recovery from Covid-19.