"In the first 8 months of the current year, foreign tourists spent 1.3 billion manats in our country, while local tourists spent 1.2 billion manats abroad,” Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfaz Garayev said at the meeting of the Tourism Council, APA reports.
According to the Minister, the number of foreign tourists visiting our country has increased by 20.9 percent compared to the same period of last year. The number of foreign tourists visiting Azerbaijan in this period was 2,071,918 people. In the first 7 months of this year, foreign tourists' banking operations in Azerbaijan increased by 97 percent compared to last year and amounted to more than 703 million manats.
"As a result of the tourism infrastructure established over the last few years, there are currently 46,000 people employed in this area. If we add more than 60,000 cultural workers, a total of more than 100,000 people serve the tourism industry," he said.
Garayev also noted the development of tourism throughout the country. He said that there have been more than 860,000 bookings in hotels and hotel-type facilities in the country during the summer season.
"In the 8 months of this year, this figure exceeded 1,294,000. Efforts will be ramped up in this direction. We have to take steps to increase the number of foreign tourists coming to our country, and also to organize a meaningful holiday for local citizens within the country," he said.
The minister added that Azerbaijan’s tourism industry is an integral part of the global tourism industry, and that Azerbaijan is successfully represented in international organizations in this area.