Today.Az » Business » ATIF: 'Significant steps taken to promote tourism'
12 April 2012 [18:50] - Today.Az
During the last ten years significant steps have been made in Azerbaijan to promote tourism. Development of tourism industry and increasing number of hotels as a major factor of its infrastructure, support the positive progress in this sphere.
The statement was made by Aydin Ismiyev, Head of the Department of Tourism of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan at a press conference prior to the opening of AITF 2012, the Azerbaijan International Tourism and Travel Fair.
The tourism official said that the traditional international exhibition AITF, which will be held from 12 to 14 April in Baku under the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 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.
The exhibition is also supported by the World Tourism Organization, the Azerbaijan Exports and Investment Promotion Foundation (AZPROMO), National Confederation of Entrepreneurs (Employers) of Azerbaijan (and the International Association of Travel Exhibitions.
In 2001, when the exhibition first opened, attended by 20 companies out of five countries, at the next exhibition, which opens on April 12, will bring together 200 companies from 32 countries.
AITF was first held in 2002, with 26 exhibitors from 5 countries. This year, AITF 2012 welcomes 200 companies from 32 countries. 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.
The AITF 2012 will feature 15 national and regional expositions from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Dagestan of the Russian Federation, India, Cyprus, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine, Lithuania, Malaysia, Slovenia, Turkey, Czech Republic, OAE, Stavropol region of Russia, and Croatia.
Advisor for Culture and Promotion of the Turkish Embassy in Azerbaijan Seid Ahmed Arslan wished success to the exhibition adding he is proud that his country was involved in such a representative event. “Turkey serves as a partner country of AITF and its national stand will feature 16 leading travel companies. The favorable geographical location of Azerbaijan, its history, climate, rich culture attract tourists to this country, and Turkey is always ready to share its travel experiences with the fraternal country,” Arslan stressed.
Each year the list of AITF participants includes new countries. This year the exhibition’s debutants are Qatar, Poland, Vietnam, Slovakia and Croatia. “Azerbaijan Airlines”, “AirAstana”, “AirBaltic”, “FlyDubai”, “Czech Airlines” and “Turkish Airline” will present special offers at the exhibition.