Zurab Pololikashvili Ilham AliyevThe Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili met H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of Republic of Azerbaijan to discuss the development of the tourism sector in the country and how to further strengthen cooperation between Azerbaijan and UNWTO.

The following issues were addressed during the meeting: the 10th Anniversary of the Baku Process, the impressive growth of international arrivals to Azerbaijan which peaked at +20% in 2017; the support of UNWTO to Azerbaijan in the implementation of investment projects, visa facilitation, open skies policy, the reinforcement of cooperation within the UNWTO Executive Council and UNWTO assistance to the country in the areas of innovation and education.

“In 2017, Azerbaijan saw international tourist arrivals grow by an impressive 20%. This enormous growth is the result of supportive policies on issues such as visas and investment, government commitment and leadership. I congratulate Azerbaijan for this success, which is far above the global average growth for 2017 of 7% in the world and look forward to strengthening our already solid cooperation” said the Secretary-General.

During his official visit, the Secretary-General also met Mr Abulfas Garayev, Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, to discuss overall cooperation opportunities with UNWTO.

In the coming days, Mr Pololikashvili will open the 17th Azerbaijan International Travel and Tourism Fair and address the Azerbaijan Tourism and Management University (ATMU).