TODAY.AZ / Business

Baku turns into city of cheap hotels

21 May 2014 [09:14] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

The price of rooms in Baku's hotels has declined more than 10 percent over the past five years.

This was stated in an annual report by the consulting company Azerbaijan Property Solutions on the state of commercial real estate market.

"Since 2009, the level of prices in middle class hotels has decreased by 10 percent, while in "luxury" class hotels - the figure stood by 15-17 percent," the report said.

According to the report, the main reason for the trend is oversaturation of the market in high-level proposals from hotels, especially of high class.

The average rate of hotel rooms in Baku stood at 60 percent in 2013, from 55 percent in five-star hotels to 65 percent in three-star hotels.

"Baku has about 6,400 hotel rooms which is 12 percent higher than the previous year. The average annual growth of Baku hotel stock is estimated at about eight percent," the report said.

At present, there are 103 hotels operating in Baku, including 22 five-star hotels, 46 four-star hotels and 26 three-star hotels, as well as 9 hotels beyond classification or on the balance of the state.

Hotels in Azerbaijan are classified based on the certificates issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which regularly verifies compliance of hotels with the requirements.

Hotels monitoring

According to the advisor to the Chairman of Azerbaijan Tourism Association ,Muzaffar Agakerimov, the preliminary results of recent monitoring of hotels and tourism companies in Baku and Absheron peninsula covered 80 percent of the existing facilities in the area.

In general, the results of monitoring were satisfactory. However, disadvantages related to human resources were found in the activities of some hotels. The low level of staff training causes the low level of services.

In accordance with the results of monitoring, Agakerimov said, it was recommended to the ministry to downgrade some three and four-star hotels. In most cases, it referred to seasonal hotels of Absheron.

He added that it is also necessary to increase the number of tourist guides in travel companies, especially knowing foreign languages.

According to Agakerimov, the most visited Azerbaijani regions in summer are the northeastern regions (Guba, Gusar, Khachmaz Nabran), northwest regions (Shamakhi, Gabala, Shaki, Lankaran) and southern regions (Lerik, Astara, Masalli).

He believes the prices of tourist services in Azerbaijan need to be reduced to attract more local and foreign tourists.

However, he noted that compared to last year, the charges of tourism services in Azerbaijan has decreased significantly.

The price of a room in a number of hotels in the regions of Azerbaijan is currently 25-30 manats per day ($31-38). Rooms are mostly rented in the northern and northeastern parts of the country, Agakerimov said.

He also stressed the tourist sites in the regions of Azerbaijan should organize a variety of entertainment activities.

"Various tastings can be arranged on trips. In Gabala it can be a wine tasting, and in Sheki - sweets tasting," he added.

Beside five-star hotels, there are a growing number of three- and four-star hotels costing $80-100 a day in the country. Currently, there are 241 travel agencies and over 500 hotels and hotel-type facilities in Azerbaijan.

About 2.4 million tourists visited Azerbaijan in 2013, spending some $700-800 a week on accommodations, food, and cultural programs.

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