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10th Anniversary Azerbaijan International Tourism and Travel Fair

27 April 2011 [12:37] - TODAY.AZ

AITF 2011, the Azerbaijan International Tourism and Travel Fair, will take place on 28-30 April in Baku Expo Centre. This year the exhibition celebrates its tenth anniversary. In this time, AITF has come to be recognised as the main event in the Caspian Sea region’s tourism industry, where important meetings are held, partnerships established, and new programmes, prices and destinations announced.

AITF was first held in 2002, with 26 exhibitors from 5 countries. Today, AITF 2011 welcomes 230 companies from 24 countries, presenting 61 tourism destinations. This fact clearly demonstrates the development of the exhibition, as well as its role in the country’s tourism sector. Since its launch, AITF has presented about 900 companies.  Based on the results of the show, local tour operators are able to expand the portfolio of routes they offer, and participating countries can increase the flow of tourists from Azerbaijan. A good example of this is the participation of countries like the UAE, Dubai in particular, and the Czech Republic. These countries were initially represented at the exhibition by commercial companies. But subsequently, evaluating the role of the exhibition in increasing the tourist flow from Azerbaijan to these countries, national stands came to the exhibition, which were presented by the governments of these countries.

AITF also clearly shows international exhibitors the rich tourism potential of Azerbaijan, revealing to them every corner of the region, which, of course, leads to them starting tours to Azerbaijan and promoting the destination in their countries. Thus, the exhibition fulfils the role of a catalyst for contacts and further cooperation, and serves as an ideal platform for learning about the tourism potential of different countries and choosing a holiday.

This year, AITF celebrates two significant events: the declaration by the President of 2011 as the Year of Tourism in Azerbaijan and the tenth anniversary of the Exhibition. This momentous event for the country’s tourism sector will undoubtedly be considered a period of striking transformation, and has certainly played an important role in the growth of the exhibition this year. The tenth anniversary edition of AITF has increased its exhibition area by 25% compared with last year. Visitors will be able to see impressive stands, which will invite them in with their national colours, entertainment and, of course, unforgettable travel programmes. Featuring a variety of routes, the exhibition will introduce its guests to different tourism destinations.

The Seychelles, Mauritius and Maldives will present Luxury Tourism programmes. Visitors will be able to learn about medical tourism, health resorts and spas at the stands of Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. For the first time for Azerbaijan, the exhibition will offer new destinations: Laos, Cambodia, Hungary, Vietnam, Mayanmar and Mexico.  One of the striking features of AITF is the large number of national stands, which actually announced their participation in this year’s event at AITF 2010. The exhibition will present the national stands of Greece, Georgia, Dagestan, Egypt, India, Lithuania, Turkey and Czech Republic. For the second consecutive year, the country partner of AITF is Turkey. The country’s tourism potential will be presented by a national stand at the exhibition. Among the sponsors of the exhibition are Gartour company and the travel company Silk Way Travel. For many years, Silk Way Travel has held one of the largest stands at the exhibition. This year, in addition to sponsoring the event, the company has decided to increase the size of its stand.

The Official Airline of AITF is AZAL. Among the partners are Azefon-Vodafone and Caspel companies. The 2nd Azerbaijan Domestic Tourism Exhibition, organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, will be held alongside AITF 2011. The exhibition will feature about 100 companies from 18 regions and present the attractions of regional holiday areas, resorts and hotels in Azerbaijan, as well as introduce the exhibitors and visitors of AITF 2011 to the rich and varied folklore, cuisine and traditions of the Azeri people.

The organisers of the exhibition (ITE Group plc and Iteca Caspian), together with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, have prepared a special programme for the tenth anniversary AITF exhibition.  For the first time, a catalogue of destinations will be published, providing an indispensable reference guide of destinations and routes for people to consult. The catalogue includes a description of the countries in which routes are offered, as well as a list of the companies that organise the tours. To create a festive atmosphere, branded phaetons will drive around the city, inviting people to visit the exhibition. At the exhibition there will be a range of entertainment, including cooking shows, national dances, visual arts and pottery. The entertainment programme will also feature raffles of tours at the exhibition.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a comprehensive business programme. Thus Ministry of Culture and Tourism organised the info tours to the Exhibition for foreign countries which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, and Germany. Industry professionals will have a unique chance to take part in seminars, presentations and mater classes organised by the UNWTO, Tourism Office of the Embassy of Egypt in Moscow (Russia), SAMO-Soft (Moscow, Russia), and Silk Way Travel (Baku, Azerbaijan). The following topics will be presented and discussed: “The trans-regional UNWTO programme for the Silk Road: new business opportunities along the ancient route”; “Innovative solutions for the development of the tourism industry”, “The automation of the work system for the tour operators and agents”; and “Online sale of tourism services based on B2C”.  

“Whole world. One exhibition” is the new slogan of the AITF exhibition.  After all, only at the exhibition can someone looking for a holiday obtain information about exciting tours, take a virtual tour, get a sense of the national culture of the countries presented, and thus form a decision on a holiday destination or route.

Since its launch, AITF has been officially supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as received the support from World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), National Confederation of Entrepreneurs’ (Employers’) Organisations of the Azerbaijan Republic and International Tourism Trade Fairs Association.


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