Cultural tourism is also regarded in Azerbaijan as a sector of development, with multilteral and bilateral aid, as well as direct foreign investment to support its projects. Azerbaijan sees in tourism a growth potential, which can create employment and generate income. |
The country has rich museums and art galleries, historic monuments or cities, mosques and churches, temples, heritage parks, caravanserails, places commemorating recent history. It is also a country with a very strong traditional culture and customs and with a warm sense of hospitality, as well as a country that has been for many centuries part of old commercial routes.
The development of cultural tourism in Azerbaijan needs a set of prerequisites, in order to enable it to become a national and international attraction, besides the infrastructure related necessary improvements: to develop the attractiveness of the place (surroundings, streets, signaling); to have an adequately trained staff; to surround the site to be visited with tourist services; to develop a welcome and orientation system for tourists (information, translations, guides, catalogues; to encourage the growth of tourism-related small and medium-size enterprises; facilitate the re-discovery of national heritage after years of soviet domination.
According to the decree adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijan Institute of Tourism was established in 2006, the main task of which is the preparation of professional specialists in various directions of tourist industry, including a new tendency, as cultural tourism. In 2007, the faculty of local lore studies was opened, the direct target of which is the preparation of particularized personnel for the service of infrastructural objects of the cultural tourism of Azerbaijan. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, jointly with the Republican centre for preparation and promotion of the qualification of workers of culture, yearly holds specialized courses for the curators of monuments, and as well as for tour guides and other collaborators of the historical-cultural preservations, implementing their activity in the Ministerial system.
Azerbaijan, with its rich and varied cultural heritage, has a wide range of potential for development of cultural tourism. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan holds a whole series of meetings, directing to the determination and development of cultural routes.
"A. Duma in Caucasus" became to be the first project on cultural policy, initiated in 2004 and realized in the frames of the program of Council of Europe "Cultural Routes". The given project is supported methodically by Luxemburg European Institute of Cultural Routes. The project is realized with the participation of three countries (Azerbaijan, Georgia and Russia Federation) and foresees the elaboration of a special training program for guides that will assist the tourists in comprehensive description of the route made by world famous writer. The program will be directed to the creation of an organic approach to the representation of the material on memorials and cultural establishments located along the route.
The another project on cultural policy, envisaging the preparation and promotion of qualification of specialists of the given branch, is the "Wine Routes", the realization of which is at present discussed in the frames of three international organizations - Council of Europe, GUAM and Black Sea Economical Cooperation. The mentioned project has its own specific character and is implemented in close cooperation with the representatives of wine industry of Azerbaijan.
The organization of the trainings is also planned directing to the promotion of the qualification of guides, and as well as the receiving party in the wine-testing establishments through the route in the frames of preparation of necessary personnel. It is supposed to place the emphasis on the working out of attainments for the presentation of wine culture with utilization of centuries-old wine traditions as a result of cultural process.