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Cesd policy Report on Tourism Sector in Azerbaijan


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CESD Policy Report on Tourism Sector in Azerbaijan


Center for Economic and Social Development

Baku, Azerbaijan

July 2011

This paper was developed as a result of the “Core and Institutional Support” grant provided to CESD from the Open Society Institute’s Think Tank Fund

Authors and emails: Vugar Bayramov (Ph.D.): vugarbayramov@cesd.az and Leyla Aliyeva: leyla.aliyeva@cesd.az, Xalid Mikayilov, xalidmikayilov@cesd.az

®CESD, www.cesd.az

Content


Introduction………………………………………….………………………… 3

Azerbaijan’s place and competitive capacity on tourism in the region……. 4

Major Problems in Tourism Sector................................................................... 7

The situation of tourism in the regions............................................................. 10


Conclusion and Recommendations................................................................... 11

References........................................................................................................... 16

Introduction


In Azerbaijan, 2011 has been declared the “Year of Tourism.” The tourism sector is of key importance as one of the priority directions of the non-state sector. Today works are carried out to draw tourists from foreign countries. In addition, works are carried out to promote tourism opportunities of Azerbaijan abroad.


Overall, the tourism sector is a leading sector among the non-state sectors due to its scale. 10 percent of GNP and 8 percent of export of the world countries come from the tourism sector. 8.1 percent of the able-bodied population are engaged in the tourism sector and related areas. According to the ‘World Tourism Organization’, in the world tourism incomes have increased in the past three years despite the financial crisis. In the world, in 2005 $805, in 2008 $924, and in 2009 $852 billion incomes have been gained from the tourism sector. Today tourists mostly travel to Europe. In a year 398.2 million tourists travel to Europe. Other most travelled regions are East Asia and the Pacific Ocean coasts. Though tourists mostly visit France and Spain, the USA also gains a lot of incomes in this sector. According to the statistics of 2011, most travelled countries by tourists are: France 79.3 million tourists, United States of America 58 million tourists, Spain 57.3 million tourists, China 53 million tourists, Italy 42.7 million tourists, Great Britain 30.2 million tourists, Ukraine 25.4 million tourists, Turkey 25 million tourists, Germany 24.9 million tourists, Mexico 22.6 million tourists, and cities: Paris 15.6 million people, London 14.8 million, Bangkok 10.8 million, Singapore 10.1 million, New York 9.5 million, Hong-Kong 7.05 million, Istanbul 7.05 million, Dubai 6.9 million, Shangai 6.66 million, Rome 6.12 million, Seoul 4.99 million, and Moscow 4.1 million people. Increase in the rate of tourism is 4.3 percent. Tourists travel our country constitute 0.003 percent of the tourists in the world which is very small number.
Azerbaijan gets $100 million profits from tourism, however Cyprus which occupies smaller territory earns $2 billion from this sector. Azerbaijan has a great capacity to develop tourism. Nevertheless government should guarantee forming competitive tourism business through implementing relevant infrustructure projects in the direction of turning this capacity into opportunities as well as developing it. In comparison with neighboring countries development of tourism is very low, though in 1999 principal priorities and goals of the state policy in this sector were determined with the adoption of the law ‘On Tourism’, and one of the important tourism documents - the state program ‘On the development of tourism during 2002-2005 and 2010-2014’ were approved.

Azerbaijan’s place and competitive capacity on tourism in the region
Azerbaijan is a region with unique geographical, geopolitical and climatic conditions. Today the total area of the republic is 86.6 thousand km2. There are nine climate zones out of 11 in the country. There are a lot of medical, mineral and thermal springs, medical mud and oil in Azerbaijan. They are mostly located in the Guba, Shamakhi-Ismayilli, Masalli-Lankaran, Balakan-Zaqatala, Sheki-Qabala, Nakhchivan, Ganjabasar regions. There are 12 reserves and six national parks. They constitute 2.4 percent of the area of the republic and can be found in all the climate zones existing in Azerbaijan. Six caves, including Azikh cave where a primitive man gathering was found, are included into paleontological nature monuments. If we consider these entire natural conditions, the tourism sector should have an important place in forming GDP in Azerbaijan. Unfortunately, only a very small part of it is used.

Research shows that despite great opportunities, not only the interests of tourists increase but also local people don’t make use of local medical tourism services. For this purpose they choose Russia, and for travel and entertainment they choose the Turkey tourism market. For comparison we should mention that Turkey earned $20.807 billion from tourism in 2010. According to the Statistics Committee of the country, for the 4th quarter of 2010 tourism expenditures have constituted $4.825 billion. It should be mentioned that, in 2009 tourism incomes of Turkey were $21.249 billion. In 2009 more than 32 million tourists travelled to the country, and the previous year it was more than 33 million. Expenditures have risen to $680 million in comparison with the previous year. On the other hand in the 4th quarter of the previous year tourism incomes of the neighborhood country constituted $5.259 billion, rising by 4.9 percent in comparison with the previous year. $3.72 billion have come from foreigners, and the rest have come from local tourists. $4,492 billion was spent by tourists, and $768 billion came from packaged tours. According to the statistics by experts, if the tourism capacity of Azerbaijan is used properly, tourism incomes will constitute 10 percent of the state budget in the following ten years. In the past two years Georgia has entered the list of the countries where tourism is developing. It has been projected that the number of tourists travelling to Georgia will surpass the number of population in 2013. Mainly, tourists from Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia travel to Georgia. Overall, 78 percent tourists fall to these regions’ share. 488,461 tourists from Azerbaijan, 485,137 from Turkey, 479,377 from Armenia, 158,421 tourists from Russia prefer Georgia to rest. It is interesting that tourists prefer to rest in Tbilisi, instead of Batumi, which is considered a tourism zone. In comparison with the other regions, Tbilisi is a leading city due to the number of tourists (75 percent). According to the report of the National Tourism Agency of Georgia, tourists mostly prefer to travel to Tbilisi. Tbilisi, being the main communication center can be taken as a reason. Tourists travel to other cities of Georgia too: Batumi-44 percent, Mtskheta -18 percent, Kutaisi -10, Gori -10 percent, Senaki -8 percent etc.

Overall, tourism industry of Azerbaijan mostly competes with Russian tourist entities in the Black Sea and North Caucasus, Turkish tourism centers in the coast of Mediterranean Sea and tourism centers on the coast of the Georgian part of the Black Sea. There are also other alternatives: Kazakhstan, the United Arabian Emirates and Iran can be included here.

In order to get positive results in such a competitive sector, permanent and stable tourism policy is required. Today tourists pay attention to security, hygiene, quality of service, sightseeings, prices and other factors in the countries they travel.

A lack of one of the mentioned factors creates a barrier to high-quality service. According to the press release of The Ministry of Tourism and Culture, today140 tourism companies, 10 tourism Information Centers and 57 hotels operate in the country. According to the report of The Statistics Committee, in 2009 the number of hotels and hostels constituted 425. The committee also reports that, in 2004 the number of tourism entities were 58, 81 in 2005, 96 in 2006, 117 in 200, 123 in 2008, and 124 in 2009. The analysis shows that after the crisis the rate of opening new tourism entities lowered. In comparison with 2004, although the number of tourism entities has risen, a variety of offered tourism products are still behind the world standards. The tourism companies could not fully realize their capacity in the world tourism market yet. According to the number of tourists, Azerbaijan stands in one of the last places among the countries in the world. In the rating by World Economic Form (WEF) Azerbaijan with Ukraine stood in the 76-77th place among 133 countries.

There has been a negative relationship between incoming and outgoing tourists till 2005. However since 2006 the situation began to change. According to the latest statistics, the number of incoming tourists rose by an average of 10-11 percent. In 2002, 428,000 tourists travelled to the country while in 2007-2008 it was more than 1 million. The total number of incoming and outgoing tourists was 59,700 people in 2009. 17,000 of those were incoming and 42,000 people were outgoing tourists. When it comes to international tourist transportation, the number of foreigners came to Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan citizens left the country totalled 4,192,900 people, 1,830.4 of those were foreign country citizens and 2,362.5 were Azerbaijan citizens who left the country for foreign countries. It should be mentioned that, 14 percent of the people travelled the country have been Russian citizens, 12 percent Georgian, 7 percent Iranian and 4 percent have been Turkish citizens. (Source-Statistics Committee)


Incoming and OutgoingTourists


 

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

The total of incoming and outgoing travellers

29382

40008

45605

56290

59607

59700

as

well as:


incoming foreign tourists

11592

16858

14472

12356

19288

17 009

outgoing resident tourists

17790

23150

31133

43934

40319

42 691

Total number of the incoming and outgoing tourism days;person-day

...

158414

218982

341502

358806

383 479

as well as :

incoming

...

78799

82857

55004

104494

109 282

outgoing

...

79615

136125

286498

254312

274 197

Source; State Statistic Committee of Azerbaijan Republic, 2011 and CESD Reports, 2011

The number of tourists served according to the countries,person

 

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Total

29382

40008

45605

56290

59607

59700

as well as

The Republic of Azerbaijan

15554

24191

18876

16839

14154

12672

CIS countries

2298

1067

3689

7089

7460

17691

Turkey

1521

1040

2984

6733

7176

6981

The United Kingdom

852

135

541

353

499

354

Germany

274

132

403

531

608

354

Spain

68

38

444

101

179

150

Italy

324

244

336

634

602

222

France

355

201

291

372

583

491

Finland

2

72

91

37

63

457

The United Arab Emirates

2263

8522

10167

11053

8127

8781

Egypt

742

406

200

266

356

325

Iran

2193

570

3786

6626

13967

7961

The USA

558

69

255

526

458

201

Other countries

2378

3321

3542

5130

5375

3060


Source; State Statistic Committee of Azerbaijan Republic, 2011 and CESD Reports, 2011

It should be mentioned that 93 percent of tourists travelling to Azerbaijan use air transportation.



The benefit a tourist brings to Azerbaijan budget is uncertain. According to the approximate calculations, $600-700 are earned from one tourist. According to the calculations of ‘World Trade Organization’, tourists travelling the country spend approximately $1000 in the world. Here not just money spent in the hotels but also money spent on souvenirs, industrial products, food, transportation, entertainment, etc. is included. This calculation is called ‘Satellite Calculation’. Unfortunately, there is no such kind of calculation in our country. According to the official statistics, the total amount of tourism incomes of our country constituted approximately $177 million in 2007, and it was $96.5 million in the second half of 2008.

Major Problems in Tourism Sector


The following can be cited as obstacles putting Azerbaijan behind in this sector: in comparison with foreign countries, travelling in Azerbaijan is very expensive, quality of service is not very high, necessary works are not carried out to draw tourists, promotion of the country is not at the desired level, and also infrustructure is not in the desired level in the regions, stars of hotels are not properly defined, guide books are not published in Azerbaijani, lack of the workers working in travel agencies, protection of environment is not in desired level, network of ATM and POS terminals is not broad, there are problems in visa facilitation rules as well as fuel prices, souvenir productions, implementation of medical insurance system, situation in the construction of stadium and sport complexes is not desirable.

Main problem among above mentioned problems is the hotel costs for tourists. Research shows that in Azerbaijan room prices in the hotels vary between 300-1500 AZN . For VIP rooms it is around between 1000 AZN and 2000 AZN. However in the USA tourist’s cost including travel costs is between 5000 and 6000 AZN. In United Arab Emirates it is $1500, and in Northern Cyprus it is $1000. In Turkey, in one of the famous tourist places, Ankara, this figure is between $600-700. In most hotels excluding several ones, services are behind the world standards. So that quality of offered services don’t fit the stars of the hotels. The reason of that in Azerbaijan, the Cabinet of Ministries doesn’t define the star for quality but for elite level where severel parameters like high cost of the equipments of the hotels’ service are included. The other interesting points related to hotels is that there are no 2 or 3 star hotels as well as hostels. The tourists travelling the country don’t have a choice to stay in less expensive hotels specially in the capital city, Baku. Almost all of the hotels are 3-4 star and expensive. As a result, tourists begin to rent houses in the city center. There should be package of services according to the stars. It should include some parameters. According to statistics, 77 hotels have been given stars so far. 15 of them are 5 star hotels, 37-4 star, 21- 3 star, 3- 2 star and one is one star hotel. Obviously, there are more 3-4-5 starred hotels. Only one of the 2 star hotels is situated in Baku. The other two are in Khirdalan and Sumgait. So it seems tourists who wish to rest in Baku should leave the city to stay in 2 star hotels. There are no options to stay in cheaper hotels in the capital city. In result tourists are obliged to rent houses in the city centre.

Although there are 2 and 3 star hotels in abroad, in our country mostly 4-5 star hotels are built. There are very limited hostels, and very few 2-3 star hotels. On contrary, in foreign countries a lot of 2-3 star hotels are built. For instance, within recent two years almost 100 2 -3 star hotels have been built. It is the same with Georgia, Turkey and other European countries. In the USA more star hotels mean paying more taxes. That’s why in these countries 2-3 star hotels are preferred.


In Azerbaijan one of the problems of tourism and enterpreneurs working in this field, is connected with tourism days which are very few in number. The reason of the high prices arises from it. Although nine out of 11 existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan this factor doesn’t create chance for the development of tourism. Winter tourism has not developed in the country. However, a huge winter tourism complex is being built in Shahdagh in the village Daghliq Alayan which is in the 30 km. north of Gusar. It should be mentioned that, construction of Shahdagh winter tourism complex was started in September of 2009. Shahdagh winter tourism complex will offer great opportunities to do skiing and other winter sports. Brigades of local and foreign workers are carrying out construction works. By the end of this year the official opening of the complex is expected. For the first time in Azerbaijan, mountain-skiing resort is constructed. In fact it can be considered as a big historical event. In the first stage of construction all the investments have been allocated on roads, electric, gas, water lines, infrustructure , hotel construction etc. by the government. As this complex is the only one in Azerbaijan, high prices of services are expected. Because constructing such kinds of complexes in other areas is included neither to investors’ nor governments’ short-term plans. In one of the rural mountain region, Lerik, quite a lot of tourists rest. Nine tourism centers that can provide service to almost 500 tourists, operate in the region. Nevertheless in winter, it is impossible to find tourists here. Though there is a suitable condition for winter tourism, there are no winter tourism centers in the region. In the region, most of the tourism centers operating in summer, close their doors in the winter. Only one of them operates in winter which offers very limited service regarding winter tourism. Research shows that, one of the reasons for the winter tourism’s poor development, is connected with the lack of interest of enterpreneurs in this sphere. Tourism companies only operate for 2-3 months. Thoughout a year enterpreneurs put all the budget expenses on one season-summer. Naturally, it results with the high prices and creates barriers for the stable, sustainable and strong development of winter tourism.

Foreigners mostly travel Azerbaijan to site-visit rather than to rest


Since 2002, every year international tourism exhibitions are held in Azerbaijan, despite complex projects, the number of tourists travelling the country doesn’t rise. The reason is that, in international tourism exhibitions the service offered by local companies is not of high quality.

Since the level of tourism service is not high, tourists choose travel tours to Azerbaijan not to rest but only to get to know Azerbaijan. 99 percent are mostly interested in the history, music, art, nature, folklore, customs and traditions of the country. On the one hand tourists choose travel tours to our country since the level of service doesn’t fit world standards, on the other hand it is because the Caspian Sea is not ecologically clean. In addition, people working in the service field don’t meet international standards. In Azerbaijan there is no competition among tourism companies, hotels, enterpreneurs in order to improve service level, however it is observed in the most countries. Everything is measured not just with how much tourist spends in the country, but also with what kind of impressions tourist leaves the country. In forming these impressions key person is a tour guide who is in charge of promoting the culture, economy and history of the country.

The following problem in tourism sphere is connected with the lack of high skilled professional guide-interpreters and guide-trainers. The professionalism, outlook, excellent knowledge, communication skills of these guides influence the quality of the tourism product. A guide is considered the image of the country. In the countries where tourism is developed this factor is always in the focus of attention. Tourism companies compete in this field. Tourism companies select the guides they work with . The service of guides is regulated by several institutions. Besides, tourism company cannot use the service of the guide unless it has permission. In addition, the person who wants to work as a guide should have a license. In Ukraine and Russia sometimes the guides who work without licence are fined. In Italy, even the tourist who uses the service of the guide without licence is fined. In several countries the institutions that educate people in this field and tourism associations operating are in charge of it. The situation has gotten so worse that even the directors of tourism companies complain about it. It should be mentioned that during the Soviet period there were nearly 90 guides, guide-interpreters and guide-instructors working with foreign tourists in ‘Inturist’ system, 150 in ‘Baku Tours and ‘Excursions Bureau’ that was engaged in local tourism, nearly 20 in ‘Sputnik’ which was organizing the travel of youth. It is intersting that although these people graduated different universities, after six-week training they were beginning to work under the supervision of professional guides. ‘Baku tours and Excursions Bureau’ used to give permissions to the guides.Within this institution there was ‘Methodical Council’ responsible for the training of guide-interpreters.

In the beginning of the 1990s, alongside with other fields crisis emerged in tourism field as well and as a result of this crisis the number of tourists travelling to the country decreased greatly. So most of the guides left the country or began working in other fields. As a result Azerbaijan tourism faced with the deficit of the personnel working in this field. At present the number of guides working with foreign and local tourists is very few.

Besides till now no guide book has been translated into Azerbaijani. There are a lot of such kind of books in Russian, however in Azerbaijani there are 2-3 books related to this field.

The other problem is connected with the lack of transportation and excursion buses from the airport to the city. Heydar Aliyev airport is one of the rare airports in the world that there is no public transportation. People mostly use taxis which cost more money. However, in most countries there is cheap public transportation from the airports to the city centers. As it is in many countries there are no excursion buses either. Unfortunately, in near future it is not planned to have excursion buses. In addition, there are no signs directing to the sightseeings of the city as well as to the metro stations and other important places.


\



The situation of tourism in the regions


There is a huge capacity for the development of tourism in the regions. The nature and landscape in the regions make them very suitable for tourism. However there are still problems related to infrastructure in the regions like electricity, natural gas, communication etc. Nevertheless protection and presentation of historical monuments are not at desired level in the regions. There are no sign posts directing to the historical monuments in the villages.

Hotels, restaurants are not at desired level to offer high quality service to tourists. In most regions hotels have not been repaired since the Soviet period. Today not all the regions of the republic are open to tourism. Works are not carried out to draw tourists to the regions which are rich with beautiful sightseeings and historical places. Regions have not been included to the programs on the development of tourism.

The main problem in the regions that hinders the development of tourism is related to the infrustructure problems. Water, gas, electricity, sewarage, telecommunication systems are not at a desired level. However, the economical and cultural situation of the region should meet modern demands in order to be included to the program on the development of tourism. First of all there should be local resources to contribute to the development of tourism. No matter natural resources are very suitable for the development of tourism, if the region is not economically developed and there is no desirable infrustructure to provide tourist with high quality service tourism can not develop there.

Conclusion and suggestions


Organization of tourism is one of the active forms of vacation and entertainment as well as it is very important to carry out socio-eceonomic, cultural and political functions. Tourism is a big sphere regulating vital social and economical operations of the world, enlarging the scope of business interests which create mutual relations among different countries and nations. There is great interest in the development of tourism all around the world. According to sociological research, the amount of profits from the tourism sphere is more than $450 billion. According to the statistics, tourism will reach its highest development by 2020. It is forecasted that the number of tourists will be more than 1.5 billion people that year. It is two times more in comparison with the current period. There is a political stability, economical, psyhcological, historical, natural and geographical capacity for the development of tourism in Azerbaijan. Nine out of 11 existing climate zones are present in Azerbaijan, and it also proves that Azerbaijan has a capacity for the development of tourism. This fact is enough for Azerbaijan’s entry into international tourism route. According to the report of World Economy Forum ‘ Travel and Tourism Competetiveness-2011’ Azerbaijan stands in the 83rd place in the list of countries that have suitable environment for the development of tourism.Whereas Georgia is in the 73th place, Azerbaijan is in the 83rd place, and Armenia in 90th place among 139 countries. Nevertheless enlarging service fields is accepted as a prior issue for the development of tourism. It can be achieved through using experience of well developed countries. At the same time, it is important to educate professional advertisers and involve them in this process. Research shows that Russia and Post Soviet countries can be a market for Azerbaijan in the tourism sphere. Because 70 percent of tourists travelling to Turkey are Russians and Ukranians. In most countries all around the world, Russian tourists are more in number. In the southern countries tourists mostly prefer winter tourism. There is a great deal of opportunities to make money in this sphere in Azerbaijan.

On the other hand development of tourism is important in terms of social, economical and technological development. On the basis of organizing tourism new work places and entities are opened. As well as people get opportunities to make additional money. A new market is opened for local products. A new structure is formed for the development of tourism. All the service places and communal spheres are modernized. New technologies and professions emerge regarding the development of tourism. Awareness of protection of environment is better realized and essential works are carried out in this direction. At the state level, health care is also improved and adjusted to the world standards. Consequently, large development is observed in the social life of people.


Recommendations


Winter tourism

- a tourism infrustructure that meets the demands of all seasons should be created with the support of the government and entrepreneurs. Once winter tourism develops, it will influence financial situations of entrepreneurs, and it may result in discounts in service prices. As a result of development of winter tourism, tourism places will work not just in summer but throughout the year, which means a flow of tourists and currency in its turn.

- Preparations should start to hold winter sports games in Azerbaijan to develop winter tourism. It would be good for the image and propaganda of the country abroad. For comparison, every year in Austria and Switzerland several events, tournaments etc. are held on winter sports, which bring lots of tourists and currency to the countries. It also gives chance to those countries to extend their export potensial and opportunities.

- In the regions which are available for winter tourism, infrustructure should be improved, tax concessions should be implied for the local and foreign entrepreneurs that are willing to work in this field.



Improvement of infrustructure

- Transportation means should meet demands. Busstops, metro stations should be provided with map-schemes and signs, especially in foreign languages. Old and unfit transportation means should be taken out of use.

- The number of buses in the tourism routes should be increased, and new transportation means should be added here. Tourists should be offered different transportation means like trains, sea and river boats, air charter flights, buses. Through improvement of transportation, it is possible to organize cheaper travels to foreign countries. Selection of transportation means depends on from which country tourist is, the geographic location of the country, in which distance that country is located as well as social and financial situation of the tourist.

-Local basic infrustructures- water, gas, electricity supply, sanitation, telecommunication system, transport routes should be improved, and should meet the needs of tourists. Dynamic development of tourism can be achieved only through applying advanced experience. Good infrustructure has a great role in promotion of the country. Special attention should be paid to the condition of the highways. Because the highways talk a lot about the cultural, economic and social development of the country. In addition if the conditions of the highways improve, it means saving time, and safer and more comfortable travels.

- The number of restaurants offering local and foreign meals near the highways, should be increased. Besides, near the highways camping stops should be set. Such kind of services can make the travels of the tourists easier and better. Each tourist can find a place to rest according to his/her budget.

- Special attention should be paid to improvement of medical services as well as information technologies in the regions. When tourists travel to rural areas they should not have any problems in terms of communication, internet etc.



Improvement of domestic tourism and hotel business

-Domestic tourism should be improved. Entrepreneurs should prefer to build 1 and 2 star hotels, the variety of the services offered, should be extended and there should be discounts in the prices. Improvement of domestic tourism depends on socio-economic factors. In tourism places and hotels the prices are very high. Entrepreneurs mostly try to rise the prices by increasing number of the stars of the hotels. The prices in the 4 and 5 star hotels are not suitable for local people but mostly for foreign tourists and businessmen. It has a negative influence on domestic tourism. As a result of improvement of domestic tourism, local businessmen will make more investments on this sector so the quantity and quality of offered services will be risen. It will affect not just local businessmen but also local people, so that they can get high-quality and cheaper services. Flow of local local tourists to foreign countries can decrease, so currency will remain in the country.

-Monitoring over the hotel prices should be imrpoved. A new monitoring expert group should be created and that group should conduct regular monitorings on the quality level of hotel services and prices. Such kind of monitoring group can make hotel managers more responsible in setting service prices. It would also prevent tourists from being cheated.

-Tax concessions should be implied for the businessmen that make investments on building 2 and 3 star hotels as well as hostels.

- Businessmen should have information support on marketing researches on behalf of the governmental organizations.

- The skills of the hotel staff should be improved, and the hotel infrustructure and the services offered should be improved too.



Development of tourism

- A competetive tourism sector should be created. Azerbaijan is situated in the area that is very competetive in terms of tourism. In the region there are countries like Turkey, Georgia and Russia where tourism is well developed in terms of infrustructure and quality and quantity of services. That is why in Azerbaijan new tourism places should have better services with better prices, they should meet international demands so that not to be behind from neighbourhood countries in applying innovations. New medical tourism centers should be built in the region countries. The countries also should improve existing infrustructure to meet international standards in transportation, telecommunication, health and other spheres. In addition, for the development of tourism the following services should be created and improved.



  1. Services for the accomodation of tourists ( hotels, motels, hostels, sanatoriums, shopping places etc.)




  1. Services to provide accommodation: Tourists can also stay in the rented houses and apartments, other dwelling places as well as in the camping tents.

c) Services to provide food ( restaurants, cafes, bars, pubs etc.)

-Physical and economic geography of different regions should be learned and relevant tourism places should be established. Non-governmental as well as trade organizations can be clients to prepare relevant documentations. However, first of all with the permission of state institutions the following documents should be prepared.

a) Scientific results on the level of natural-recreation features of the areas;

b) Expert opinion on the natural-recreation reserves of the areas;

c) Opinion of the state ecological and sanitary-epidemiological expertise on the condition of the areas as well as health-care zones.

d) the list of the industrial, agricultural and other entities located in the natural-recreation areas.

e) Information about the topographic plan of the area.

- Historic places should be renovated and open to tourists. Renovation of the historical places would prevent them from being destroyed. Through renovation it will be possible to pass those places to future generations as well as to make tourists’ journeys interesting. For instance, Great Wall of China is visited by millions of tourists every year. So China government keeps this great historic place and also attracts a lot of tourists.

. In Azerbaijan, Gobustan, Old City, Sheki Khan Palace etc. can be shown as historic places. Touristic routes can be organized to these places as well as tourist can be provided with guides and interpreting services.

- Economic-cultural condition of the regions that are included into the tourism routes should be improved. It can be achieved through education of the local people and also by giving them a chance to use tourism opportunities of their regions to improve their lives. If the local people gain earning from tourism, they can be more interested in protection of historic places, and they can be more helpful to tourists. It will also help to increase the budget of touristic regions as well as to improve economic-cultural situation of those regions and awareness of the local people on tourism.

- Pollution should be stopped in the areas of the sightseeings. In the entrance of the forests and reserves there should be signs calling to follow cleaning and safety rules.

- Information about the sightseeings should be provided through preparing different kinds of booklets, starting tourism websites and also offering special routes to tourists. These services will provide tourists with more information, so they will try to visit as many places as possible.

- While tourists travelling they should be offered security service alongside guide service. Well-organized and high-quality services will make tourists visit the country again.

- Promotion of the country should be well-organized. Promotion has a great role in tourism as it affects tourism directly. As a result of promotion, people get infromation about tourism opportunities as well as offers of one country.
-The quality of the tourism agencies’ services should be improved. Tourists should be provided with all kind of information regarding all the details of their travels. All the relevant information can be offered in one package which will save time of tourists.
- In order to meet cultural needs of the tourists, the condition of the theatres, cinemas, concert halls, museums, exhibitions, galleries, parks, historic places and reserves should be improved. In addition, conditions to attend above mentioned places as well as festivals, races and other cultural events should also be improved. It will make their travel more intreresting.
- Tourists who are businessmen should also be provided with all the relevant services to attend congress, assemblies, meetings, discussions, seminars, exhbitions, and the quality of these services should be improved. It will help to broaden relations between foreign businessmen and local businessmen.
- In the administrative and regulatory authorities- border, quarantine, police, visa, passport etc. services should be improved. In result of this improvement more tourists will be attracted to the country.
-Services of papers, journals, radio, television should be improved. If local TVs broadcast in foreign languages, tourists would have more information about the country.
-Services offered by tourism agencies (committee, department, ministries) also should be improved.

- Opportunities of internet and other modern information technologies should be used more. Online networking and marketing should be improved for this purpose. Internet has a great role in contacting with airlines and hotels,that’s why the quality of online service should also be improved. It will make processes easier for tourists as well as for tourism agencies.



Beach tourism- ecological condition of the Caspian Sea

- Beach tourism should be improved. Only small part of the areas alongside of the Caspian Sea is used as a beach. It is because of the pollution of the sea. Once this problem solved, it will influence development of tourism in a good way. Every year Turkey welcomes thousands of tourists more than Russia and Germany, because of its beach tourism. In Azerbaijan, there is available climate to imrove beach tourism. If it is improved, thousands of tourists will travel Azerbaijan. In order to improve beach tourism the following works should be carried out.

- Works should be carried out to stop oil wells pollute beaches of the Caspian Sea. Once the beaches are clean it will be possible to use their all potential of these areas.

-Security services should be improved in the beaches.

- The quality of services of the hotels and other places near the beaches should be improved.

- Monopoly in this field should be abolished, beaches’ sanitary situation should always be kept under control



Tourism and new work places

- The activities of the international tourism agencies should be directed to improve lives of the local people. If international tourism agencies open their offices in the regions, lots of local people can be provided with jobs, which would have positive impact on their lives.

- The quality of the services offered by souvenir, gift, postcard stores should be improved. In its turn, it may result with increase in export and opening new work places.

References

Vugar Bayramov, Current Problems in Tourism Sector in Azerbaijan, Baku, 2011

Gee Y. The Travel Industry, University of Vienna Press, 2008

Cook R. Tourism- The Business of Travel, 2010



Stephen J. Tourism- a Modern Synthes, 2006


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