Azerbaijan becomes an official destination partner of World Travel and Tourism Council

Azerbaijan has become a destination partner of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), stepping into the pool of transformative opportunities for country’s tourism sector, and solidifying its position as one of the leading destinations within the global tourism industry. Being the largest global private sector of travel and tourism network, WTTC has a mission to maximize the inclusive and sustainable growth potential by partnering with governments and further amplify understanding in our world.

Joining the WTTC brings certain number of significant benefits to Azerbaijan. First and foremost, WTTC membership positions Azerbaijan’s tourism sector at the forefront of the private and economic agenda. It also plays an active role beneficial to the public sector, paving the way for interactions with government officials and high-level policy discussions. By actively interacting with other WTTC members, Azerbaijan strengths its network and fosters deeper connections among leaders in both public and private sectors. The membership allows Azerbaijan to encompass the entire supply chain of Travel and Tourism, which includes engagement with stakeholders focused on topics such as Sustainability and Future Technology in Travel. In addition to becoming a partner destination, Azerbaijan has also joined the WTTC’s Hostel Sustainability Basics (‘Basics’) partnership. This partnership implies globally recognized and coordinated set of sustainability indicators that all hotels are encouraged to implement as a minimum standard. Developed by industry for the industry, they represent the 12 actions that are fundamental to hotel sustainability. Being a premier partner of basics, Azerbaijan implements criteria set by WTTC to raise the bottom floor sustainability in the sector.

Being a destination partner, Azerbaijan is making its debut appearance at the WTTC Global Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, from November 1st to 3rd themed “Building Bridges to a Sustainable Future”. The delegation includes Mr. Fuad Naghiyev, Chairman of the State Tourism Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Kanan Gasimov, the Head of Administration at the State Tourism Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Mr. Florian Sengstschmid, CEO of the Azerbaijan Tourism Board, who had a productive meeting with Ms. Julia Simpson, President and CEO of WTTC. By participating in the WTTC Global Summit, Azerbaijan seizes the opportunity to contribute to the global discussions about challenges and solutions of sustainable tourism development. Attending WTTC Global Summit is an opportunity to be at the forefront of shaping a sector that is not only resilient but also committed to the principles of sustainability and inclusivity, which are the focal points of Azerbaijan’s tourism strategy.

The development of tourism experiences in Azerbaijan, follows the strategy that goes beyond attracting tourists, while also creating unique, sustainable experiences that drive regional growth. The recent inscription of Khinalig and the ‘Köç Yolu’ Transhumance Route to the UNESCO list further highlights Azerbaijan’s commitment to preserving its rich cultural and natural heritage. Sustainability has been a big part of Azerbaijan’s tourism strategy which lead to development of many eco-friendly experiences; from birdwatching and hiking to preservation of local products and age-old cooking methods within the framework of Slow Food Travel. Azerbaijan’s tourism efforts also include protection of tourism sites through sustainable heritage management. The focus on the development of local wine industry established Azerbaijan as one of thriving centres of viticulture in the region and celebrated with a number of prizes by the Council of Europe and the European Institute of Cultural Routes.

In Azerbaijan, needs of contemporary travellers are met by the availability of a wide range of modern amenities, such as world-class hotels, upscale restaurants, and shopping centres. Azerbaijan boasts a wealth of attractions, including the UNESCO-listed Old City of Baku, the Caucasus Mountains, the Caspian Sea, and the ancient Silk Road.