Azerbaijan ranked fourth in Russia's domestic tourism rating
Azerbaijan ranked fourth in the number of tourists visiting Russia for tourist purposes during the first nine months of this year, the TourStat agency reported.
Over the reporting period, 684,000 Azerbaijani travelers visited Russia, which indicates a 3% increase compared to the same period of 2018.
Ukraine is on the top of the ranking with 5 million 944 thousand trips, the second is Kazakhstan with 2 million 716 thousand tourists, the third is China with 1 million 594 thousand guests, and Finland closes the TOP-5 with 681 thousand visitors.
Number of foreigners traveling to Russia has increased in January-September due to growing number of tourists from South-East Asia and the European Union, according to the statistics.
Economic expert Rovshan Ibrahimov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Russia's popularity with Azerbaijani tourists is explained by close traditional ties between the two countries and their peoples. "A large number of Azerbaijani citizens, especially the older generation, know and use the Russian language, so it’s easier for them to go on holiday to Russia. It is also important that Russia has a visa-free regime with respect to Azerbaijan," he said in the first place.
"Second, many have relatives in Russia. Third, for the most part, people go on vacation to the traditional resorts of the Caucasus - Pyatigorsk and Kislovodsk," Rovshan Ibrahimov drew attention.
"Recently, Azerbaijani businessmen have been investing in the development of Russia's Caucasian resorts. There are also many places in Russia for excursions, for recreation and treatment. I think it’s quite natural that Russia is relevant for our tourists, and its popularity only growing. This trend will continue in the future," the economist expressed confidence.
Senior Lecturer of the Department of Management and Business at the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences of RANEPA, Yevgeny Itsakov noted that Russia's direction is popular due to its geographical proximity to Azerbaijan and ties between peoples. "In fact, these are the same reasons why Azerbaijan is popular among Russian tourists: we lived in one state for a long time, and people still have nostalgia for certain places which they visited before," he explained.
"Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia are of interest to Russians as interesting countries that are close to us. In addition, it should be noted that Azerbaijan is the most prosperous country among the countries of the South Caucasus. Armenia and Georgia are much poorer. For this reason, Azerbaijani tourists have more opportunities to travel," Yevgeny Itsakov concluded.