Map of Central Asia

Map of Central Asia

Friday, January 6, 2012

Azerbaijan a country of historic cultural heritage.


                                                                                     
                                                    

Azerbaijan is located on the western shore of the Caspian Sea at the southeast extremity of the Caucasus. The region is a mountainous country, and only about 7% of it is arable land. The Kura River Valley is the area's major agricultural zone.
It’s a fascinating nexus of ancient historical empires. Yet it’s also a new nation finding its feet as it emerges from a war-torn post-Soviet chrysalis on a petroleum-funded gust of optimism. Surrounded by semi-desert on the oil-rich Caspian Sea, the nation’s cosmopolitan capital Baku is a dynamic boomtown, where flashy limousines and mushrooming skyscrapers sweep around a picturesque Enesco-listed ancient core. Yet barely three hours’ drive away lays an entirely different world: timeless villages clad in lush orchards from which shepherd tracks lead into the soaring high Caucasus Mountains. Where Baku is multilingual and go-ahead, the provinces shuffle to the gently paced click of nard (backgammon) on tree-shaded teahouse terraces: women stay home, herds of cattle wander aimlessly across highways, and potbellied bureaucrats scratch their heads in confusion on finding that an outsider has wandered into their territory
Tourism is an important part of the economy of Azerbaijan. The country's large abundance of natural and cultural attractions makes it an attractive destination of visitors. The country was a well-known tourist spot in the 1980s; yet, the Nagorno-Karabakh War during the 1990s crippled the tourist industry and damaged the image of Azerbaijan as a tourist destination.
It was not until 2000s that the tourism industry began to recover, and the country has since experienced a high rate of growth in the number of tourist visits and overnight stays. In the recent years, Azerbaijan has also becoming a popular destination for religious, spa, and health care tourism.
The Government of Azerbaijan has set the development of Azerbaijan as an elite tourist destination a top priority. It is a national strategy to make tourism a major, if not the single largest, contributor to the Azerbaijani economy. These activities are regulated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan.

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