KARACHI: “We are delighted to introduce our country and the “Take another look” campaign in Pakistan through Pakistan Travel Mart. South Asia is a key region for us and we look forward to welcoming its travellers and sharing Azerbaijan’s tourism, leisure and business events potential. We are excited to strengthen our ties with Pakistan and enhance our tourism proposition in the industry, as we aim to provide Pakistani tourists with unique, authentic experiences that will leave a lasting impression,” said Florian Sengstschmid, Chief Executive Officer of Azerbaijan Tourism Board.
The Caucasus country is currently on the cusp of a tourism boom as it welcomed a record number of in-bound visitors spending more than USD 2 billion in 2018, making it one of the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world. Azerbaijan welcomed 41 268 Pakistani travellers in 2018. In January- August of 2019 Azerbaijan has already received 28 576 Pakistani citizens, which is 12.9 % increase in comparison to the same period of the last year.
An Eastern country with a Western outlook, Azerbaijan is an exceptional combination of antiquity and novelty with several sites of interest. Supported by a rich history that dates back 5,000 years, and home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, its composite culture has evolved with the passing through of travellers along the Great Silk Road.
Among the country’s top attractions is the ancient Ashabi-Kahf. Mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, it attracts thousands of tourists from the Middle East and South Asia to the western territory of Azerbaijan. The natural cave between the mountains of Ilandag sees tens of thousands of pilgrimages to the sacred location each year. Another popular attraction is the iconic UNESCO site of the ancient Ateshgah, a Fire Temple which continues to amaze visitors with its spouts of flame.
Azerbaijan welcomes travellers all throughout the year to enjoy an array of activities during the four seasons. Home to 9 distinct climatic zones, the landscape has attractive weather and almost every kind of geography one could think of. From lush or snowy mountains, beaches, forests, and everything in-between, its natural terrains welcome tourists looking for the diverse scenic beauty and the best landscapes for adventure. Blessed with variety of rich mineral deposits, the country is fast becoming a preferred destination for health and wellness offering world-class spas, traditional hammams and mud baths.
The country’s unique geography and location have resulted in a cuisine influenced by the land’s natural ingredients. With a mix of varied local cuisine and tastes from the Middle East, Turkey, Europe and Asia, there is a variety of the best food places and experiences. With a majority Muslim population, tourists can expect halal culinary options.
A budget-friendly holiday destination closer than Europe, Baku offers the best places to do shopping. The malls of Baku have low price offers and luxury brands. For those seeking a genuine local experience will enjoy the traditional bazaars. As well as traditional entertainments, Baku has a thriving jazz community, and DJs from around the world contribute to the lively nightlife.
With high-profile sporting events such as the Formula 1 Azerbaijan Grand Prix and UEFA Europa League Final in 2019, and annual food and music festivals; varied hospitality offerings that range from luxury collections to B&Bs; a vibrant gastronomical experience; spectacular landscapes including summer countryside and winter ski slopes; Azerbaijan is an ideal and a safe family-oriented destination with a constantly evolving tapestry of life and energy.
“With a direct flight in the foreseeable future, we encourage Pakistani travellers to ‘Take Another Look’ and discover all the possibilities and unique offering awaiting in Azerbaijan. Pakistani visitors can enjoy an easy visa policy with the newly implemented ASAN visa system. Citizens can obtain an e-visa in 3 simple steps from the convenience of their home or mobile devices,” added Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of Azerbaijan Tourism Board. Currently, various transit air routes are available on connection of Pakistan with Azerbaijan including: Flydubai, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Turkish Airlines, Gulf Air and Air Arabia. News Desk