The US State Department is partnering with GlobalJax bring 6 leaders in the Azerbaijani Tourism Industry to Northeast Florida. This project will connect leaders in tourism development in Northeast Florida and leaders from Azerbaijan to share best practices in sustainable tourism development and marketing strategies at the local, regional, and national level. The program will also highlight trends in American Tourism and give the leaders exposure to local ecotourism offerings. We are excited to partner with Visit Jacksonville, The City of St Augustine, St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches Visitors & Convention Bureau, St Augustine Eco Tours, and the National Park Service in our efforts to build a bridge between the Northeast Florida and Azerbaijan .
Drawing on inspiration from Iceland, Azerbaijan is using tourism to diversify its economy and stimulate growth. Azerbaijan is a relatively small county with ancient cultural heritage and diverse natural offerings ranging from the Caspian Sea to Caucasus Mountains. According to Fuad Naghiyev, Director of Azerbaijan's State Tourism Agency and Board, it is “strategically important for Azerbaijan to generate revenues through effective marketing and promotions, supported by aligned market research, to create jobs and generate wealth for Azerbaijanis by stimulating demand for reasons to visit our beautiful country.”
The efforts are currently targeting the caucus region, Asia, and the Middle East and leveraging partnerships with its neighboring countries of Russia, Georgia and Turkey. The visa process has been simplified and fees reduced by over 50%, and the investment in the new Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport has drastically increased the capacity to serve passenger flights in to the country. In 2018, the State Tourism Agency became independent from the Ministry of Culture and efforts to promote tourism were further expanded.
In the Capital city of Baku, development of luxury hotels increased to meet the needs of high-end clients. However, mid-range hotels and other more economical options in the hospitality industry remain under-developed. Additionally, hotels and infrastructure in tourist destinations in regions outside of the capital lag far behind the levels seen in Baku. The Azerbaijani government has prioritized attracting tourists from the United States to Azerbaijan, but local operators have struggled to align existing marketing campaigns and tourist infrastructure to appeal to Western visitors.
This project will expose the group to current trends in tourism, provide insights into the tastes and sensibilities of American travels, and provide an opportunity to share best practices in marketing destinations to attract hoteliers and events and create more sustainable, inclusive economic growth in small and medium sized cities.
While You are Here... The work we do has never been more important — whether it’s because of ongoing conflict or news that tells just part of the story - now more than ever, we need connection, conversation, and global perspective. Click here to join GlobalJax's efforts to create a more globally connected, informed and vibrant region.