As the Convention & Culture Partner of ITB Berlin 2013, Azerbaijan will be providing a link between Asia and Europe with a varied programme. Located between the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus, this country is attending the world’s largest travel trade show to introduce its natural attractions and its rich culture, as well as promoting itself as vacation destination with the emphasis on culture, and as an outstanding MICE venue too. With some prominent panelists, Azerbaijan is also strongly represented in the discussions about its economic development at the ITB Berlin Convention, the leading think tank for the international travel industry.
“In addition to the oil industry, which is already a major economic factor, we are also focusing our attention on developing tourism”, says Abulfas Garayev, Azerbaijan’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, with reference to his country’s high level of involvement in ITB Berlin. “For us this partnership with ITB Berlin is a very important instrument for effectively promoting the tourism potential of Azerbaijan. This year the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku attracted enormous media attention, presenting our country’s modern image around the world. By acting as the convention and cultural partner of the world’s largest travel trade show we aim to strengthen this image even further.” Azerbaijan declared 2011 as the Year of Tourism, and the advances being made with the country’s tourism infrastructure are already evident. New hotels have been constructed and special laws have been proposed to encourage the development of tourism. This year is expected to see the completion of one of the largest tourism projects, the construction of the Shahdag ski region.