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On April 2, the 14th Azerbaijan International Travel and Tourism Exhibition, AITF 2015 started its work in Baku Expo Centre. Over the years, AITF has secured its status as a leading international exhibition, reflecting the overall image of the modern tourism market in the region and presenting the local flavours of different areas of the world. Alongside the AITF 2015, the 9th Caucasus International Exhibition “Everything for Hotels, Restaurants and Supermarkets” (Horex Caucasus 2015) and the 2nd Caspian International Exhibition Boats and Yachts (CIBS 2015) commenced.
At the opening ceremony of the exhibition Minister of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan Abulfas Garayev emphasized the government’s focus on the development of the tourism industry. He noted a significant increase in regional tourism clusters present at AITF 2015. Mr. Garayev emphasized that Baku is often chosen to host the biggest international cultural, sports, and scientific events, which positively affects the development of business tourism. The Minister noted that the AITF exhibition is the leading event among tourist activities in the region and added that in 2016 it will celebrate its anniversary, inviting everyone to participate. The Minister also expressed the words of Dr Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) that Azerbaijan is a star among the tourist destinations in the world.
In his speech, Executive Director of ITE Group Plc Mr Edward Strachan thanked the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the support of the exhibition, noting that there were 371 companies from 42 countries participating in the exhibition, which represent proposals for 80 tourism destinations. Mr Strachan also noted that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan actively promotes Azerbaijan abroad, particularly at ITE Group exhibitions. At the end of the exhibition’s opening ceremony, the Minister was awarded with a certificate.
At AITF 2015 there were 17 national groups in attendance from Argentina, Bulgaria, Iran, Georgia, the Dominican Republic, India, Malaysia, Morocco, UAE, Slovenia, Thailand, and Turkey, among other countries. The Maldives make its debut among the national stands. Tour operators from Azerbaijan acting under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA) introduced various offers at the exhibition. Azerbaijan's tourism potential highlights the country's regions: Gabala, Gakh, Guba, Ganja, Zagatala, Ismayilli, Lankaran, Masalli, Mingachevir, Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, Khachmaz, Sheki, as well as Cultural and Tourism Department of Sumgayit, village Ivanovka well-known far beyond the borders of Azerbaijan. Traditionally, the exhibition has a stand for Garabagh, which acquaints visitors with the cultural and historical heritage of the region.
Exhibitors include tour operators, national tourism organizations, hotel chains, sanatoriums, health and recreational centres, spa centres, as well as sports and environmental tourism organisations. The BEGOC Committee provided visitors with up-to-date information on preparations for the First European Games at its stand.
Through presentations, projects, and ideas, the exhibition attracted the attention from the Real Estate Abroad sector, Medical Tourism direction, and a new service from the organizers - B2B pre-scheduled appointments program which will speed up and improve the communication between exhibitors and visitors.
The leading companies from Azerbaijan, Italy, Korea, Lithuania, Russia, and Turkey take part in Horex Caucasus 2015 exhibition. Among the participants were such brands as Asena, Ateюe Makine Kazan, Billur MS, Coffee Planet Azerbaijan, Gunesh, HoReCa, Hotstar, HRS (Hotel & Restaurant Systems), Hurom, Inter Isi, JSC Refra, Kaan Celik Kasa, Lactalis, Netsa Metal, Rulopak Hijyen Sistemleri, and Zama, among others. The exhibition is very important in connection with construction, hotels, restaurants, sports complexes, and business centres in Azerbaijan. After all, the exhibition presents an excellent opportunity for choosing the necessary equipment, utensils, food, and drinks from leading international manufacturers and distributors of HoReCa sector for newly built and future facilities.
The 2nd Caspian International Boats and Yachts Show (CIBS 2015), the only exhibition in the Caspian region combining boats, yachts, various types of marine equipment, yacht clubs, water sports, and sea transport is located in the second hall of the Baku Expo Centre. The CIBS 2015 is comprised of the Azerbaijan State Maritime Administration, Arcadia Marine House, the Azerbaijan Sailing Federation, the Baku Marine Service, Regal Boats, and Seagull Caspian, among others. Participants range from those in Azerbaijan, to Ukraine, and the United States. The exhibition presents powerboat technology products, related products for outdoor activities, as well as the latest technological advances of the industry for professionals, amateurs, and visitors.
Since its foundation, the AITF exhibition is actively supported by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Azerbaijan. AITF is also supported by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Azerbaijan Tourism Association (AzTA), and the International Tourism Trade Fairs Association (ITTFA). Official support for the 2nd Caspian International Boats and Yachts Exhibition (CIBS 2015), which takes place on the same venue with AITF, is given by the State Maritime Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan. The event is organized by Iteca Caspian LLC and its British partner, ITE Group Plc.