Azerbaijan to become 'world tourism centre' - president

Mon 02 Apr 2012 02:20 GMT | 06:20 Local Time

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President Ilham Aliyev and his spouse Mehriban Aliyeva opened the JW Marriott Absheron Hotel in Baku on Sunday.

The president toured the hotel, built on the site of the former Absheron Hotel on Azadlig Square, and addressed staff, the president's official website reported.


“This is a very remarkable day in the history of our city. A wonderful, splendid Mariott Hotel is opening in Baku. I cordially congratulate you on this event. This is a really important event for the development of our city.

"I am happy that Mariott meets all international standards. Wonderful conditions have been created. All conditions are in place for rest and relaxation and the holding of various events. The inside and outside of the hotel are wonderful. The work here has been done with great taste. I am confident that this hotel will become one of the most beautiful hotels, not only in Azerbaijan but throughout the region as a whole. I do not doubt that the service here will also be at a high level, since Marriott is a world famous hotel chain. Marriott’s appearance in Azerbaijan is a sign of the country's development.

"All the same, I have to note and I am very happy that the hotel has preserved its historical name Absheron, since the construction of the Hotel Absheron here in the 1980s was a great event at that time. The construction of the Absheron Hotel on one side of the square and the Azerbaijan Hotel on the other marked the borders of our main square. Time has called for new development. I am glad that in the current panorama of Baku, Azadlig Square, the main square in Baku, is again surrounded with wonderful hotels which complete this wonderful square.

"Hotel construction is also a sign of the attention paid to Azerbaijan by investors. The arrival of a world famous hotel chain in Azerbaijan is a demonstration of the wonderful investment climate in the country. We welcome investments in all spheres and I am happy that today investments are made in the tourism and hotel sector. Four five-star hotels have been opened in our city over the past year. This is the fourth one. Two more five-star hotels will open in Baku in the coming months. Six five-star hotels are opening in a year in the same city and this city is Baku. Baku deserves this development, since it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Baku has a historic beauty. Ancient Baku has its beauty and this is a source of our pride. Modernizing Baku has already managed to take a worthy place on the world stage.

Major improvements to seafront promenade

"The hotel's immediate surroundings are being improved. Guests will be able to get to the seafront promenade via an underground pedestrian subway. Baku's historic promenade starts from here, from this point. Our historic promenade extends 3.5 kilometres. The Baku promenade was once the longest promenade in the Soviet Union. However, the development of modern Baku, modern Azerbaijan, has required an extension of the promenade. With the construction of a new section of the promenade to Flag Square, in 1.5 months the Baku promenade, old and new, and Flag Square will extend 14-15 kilometres.

"New small buses have been ordered for the promenade. Sea taxis will operate from the promenade to Flag Square. Unique conditions, the like of which is hard to find, are being created in the city. This development, these investments really show the dynamics of the development of our country within a short period of time.

"The regions of our country are also developing. Five-star hotels are also built in the regions. The Shahdag alpine complex is to open by the end of this year. This will be the most wonderful ski resort on a world scale. Several five-star hotels are currently under construction there.

"In the future, as a result of the flow of tourists to Azerbaijan, our country will take its place on the tourism map of the world. Azerbaijan is today the political and economic centre of the region. Azerbaijan is today the energy centre of the continent. I want Azerbaijan to become one of the tourism centres of the region and the world. There is potential for this.

"We have a wonderful country, wonderful people. The citizens of Azerbaijan are very hospitable. There is always great respect for and attention to foreign guests. We have a wonderful climate. The security conditions are very good. People can walk and relax in safe conditions round-the-clock. We have a good geographical location. The infrastructure of the city is renewing and we already have wonderful, splendid hotels. There are wonderful conditions to hold any international event in Azerbaijan.

"I have been to different parts of the world. I have enough opportunities to make comparisons. I always strive to apply the best world experience in Azerbaijan, certainly, considering our specific features. I can say that you can rarely come across cases of construction of this number of wonderful hotels in a very small area on a world scale. We see it in Baku. Baku has all the conditions to work, live and relax.


"I am also happy that the Mariott Hotel is architecturally beautiful. We must pay constant attention to this, since our city has specific architectural traditions. The architecture of our ancient city, the houses which were built here in the 19th century and modern buildings are very beautiful. The differences between these styles should not spoil the general appearance and should provide wonderful moments. I think that we have managed to attain this, since ancient and modern buildings supplement each other. All the work is done with great taste. Certainly, I focus my attention on construction in every part of our city.

"We are turning Baku into a city of gardens, parks and boulevards. Baku is our beautiful city and today I assume the responsibility of saying that it is one of the most wonderful cities in the world.

"Certainly, the construction of such wonderful hotels, the appearance of international brands and world famous hotel chains in Azerbaijan further expand our opportunities, increase trust and encourage investments in other spheres.


"One may ask: why have six five-star hotels been built in the city in 18 months? How will they operate? Will there be enough guests? I am sure that there will be. I am sure that that these six five-star hotels will not be enough to house all the guests, because the development of our country is rapid and the number of those wanting to come to Baku is growing so rapidly that I think there is a great need for the construction of hotels in the future.

"Certainly, there are wonderful, historical places in our city. It is possible to say that these places are already occupied. Five-star hotels are built in Azadlig Square, in Azneft Square, on the high ground of our city. The competition between these hotels will be sound. Two years ago there were just one or two five-star hotels in Baku and a monopoly was created.

"However, in conditions of sound competition, every brand will demonstrate its capabilities and I want to say once again that this is certainly a big contribution to our overall development.

"This makes me happy. I am happy that today this wonderful, modern, splendid hotel is starting its work. I am sure that those who work here are professionals. I am sure that you will provide wonderful services to the guests.

"Once again, I want to extend my cordial congratulations to you on this wonderful event and I wish you success. Thank you.”





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