Azerbaijan’s tourism sector is getting a makeover. The National Tourism Summit will soon unveil a new logo that is expected to help brand the Caspian country through making an indelible mark on the minds of those who may not be familiar with what the ancient yet modern, former Soviet republic, situated in the South Caucasus, has to offer.
“The summit is organized and sponsored fully by the State Tourism Agency and will be dedicated to introducing the new logo of Azerbaijan,” Rufat Baghirov, Director at the Baku Tourism Information Center, told Caspian News.
“This will be one of the largest and most significant events in the name of Azerbaijan’s national tourism industry, as well as our country’s global image. By the end of this year, we are planning to reveal the logo for the capital city of Baku as well,” Baghirov said.
The current tourism logo for Azerbaijan depicts an oil tower with a flame atop, an eight-point yellow and orange star, and waves of the Caspian Sea holding up the letters of the country’s name spelled out in a modern typeface. The design is meant to symbolize the success that fossil fuels found deep beneath the bedrock of what is a Caspian Sea littoral state have produced for a country which is often called “the land of fire”.
The National Tourism Summit will be held at the futuristic Baku Convention Centre on October 18, in a bid to boost a growing domestic tourism industry, as well as attract more foreign tourists and investors. The conference is a cooperative platform for stakeholders in the national tourism industry that promotes discussions about the development, marketing and promotion of travel to and within Azerbaijan. The public and private sector are encouraged to take part in representing Azerbaijan, a small-sized country of just under 10 million people, as a global tourism destination.
According to Kanan Guluzade, a spokesperson for the National Tourism Propaganda Bureau, the tourist influx to Azerbaijan is growing yearly, which has prompted officials to boost promotional and rebranding efforts.
“This year there is more than eight percent growth [in the number of tourists],” Guluzade said, according to Sputnik. “Azerbaijan Hotels Association will be established soon. Afterwards, the organization will be admitted to membership of the European Hotel Association. Thus, hotels in Azerbaijan will be standardized, starred and certified in line with the standards applied by the European Commission.”
Within the first seven months of 2018 over 1.95 million tourists from 191 countries flocked to Azerbaijan, according to data compiled by the State Statistics Committee. The government plans to increase the number up to 4.5 million by 2020. Estimations forecast that revenues from the tourism industry over the next 15 years will equal the earnings from hydrocarbon sales, considered the main source of income in the energy-rich Azerbaijan.