Azerbaijan among top-5 countries in number of inbound tourists to Russia
Azerbaijan is among the top five countries in terms of the number of foreign citizens arriving in Russia in the first half of 2019, according to the TurStat portal.
The number of trips from Azerbaijan to Russia increased by 22,000, or 5.5%, in the first half of 2019, compared to the corresponding period last year. As a result, Azerbaijan ranked 5th with 418,000 trips.
In general, inbound tourism to Russia grew during the first half of the year through tourists from Southeast Asia and the EU.
According to the results of 6 months, the top 5 countries in the number of inbound tourists to Russia included Ukraine (3.424 million trips), Kazakhstan (1.569 million), China (780,000), Finland (430,000) and Azerbaijan (418,000).
Other countries in the top-10 are Ukraine (3.4 million trips, -8%), Kazakhstan (1.6 million trips, + 1.6%), China (780 thousand trips, + 17%), Finland (430 thousand trips, -7%), Poland (323 thousand trips, -7%), Germany (270 thousand trips, + 3%), Armenia (260 thousand trips), Moldova (189 thousand trips, -17%) and Estonia (232 thousand trips, + 9%).
Professor of the Department of Business Process Management in Production and Service of RANEPA, Galina Dekhtyar, speaking with the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the information attractiveness of Russia has grown very much recently. "Russia is becoming more interesting thanks to the events taking place on its territory. Moscow has become much more beautiful, much more interesting, St. Petersburg has also changed for the better. All the cities that hosted the 2018 World Cup were very brightly represented," she said.
"The emergence of tax free played an important role as well. For many travelers, it is an essential factor for shopping - especially since they have a lot to buy here, so it can be interesting for the residents of Azerbaijan. In addition, Russia has a large Azerbaijani diaspora, and coming here is an opportunity to see relatives," the expert added.
Galina Dekhtyar recalled that Russia and Azerbaijan signed agreements on cooperation in the tourism sector. "We have an exchange of students, students attend conferences, various events in our country. And the Russians also started travelling to Azerbaijan more often. It's about increasing, improving cooperation, which is, of course, thanks to state policy," the professor of the Department of Business Process Management in Production and Service of RANEPA concluded.
Milli Majlis deputy Aydin Mirzazade stressed that first of all, there is no Russophobia in Azerbaijan. "The policy pursued by late President Heydar Aliyev and current President Ilham Aliyev was able to maintain respect for Russia in the Azerbaijani society, the desire to strengthen relations and interest in the history and culture of the Russian people. There are Russian-language schools in Azerbaijan. I teach the Russian group along with the Azerbaijani group political science in a university. 15% of students and 10% in schools are Russian-speaking. Almost everyone knows the Russian language in Azerbaijan. It is tolerance and the interest of Azerbaijani society in Russian culture, in Russia that leads to these positive results," he said.
"I visit Russia very often, and I always see the high culture of the Russian people, respect for my country, great interest in Azerbaijan's successes. Personal friendship between the leaders of our states also helps improve relations between our countries," the deputy recalled.
The politician emphasized that the residents of Azerbaijan are grateful to Russia for the fact that Moscow does not recognize the occupation of the Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, but recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. "Trips to Russia are not only linked to tourism. Many young Azerbaijanis study at Russian universities," the expert said.
"In general, I think all residents of Azerbaijan help such a favorable trend. And I am glad that we see the same kind attitude from Russia, from every ordinary Russian," Aydin Mirzazade concluded.