Budget hotels in Azerbaijan should be cheaper

By: Nigar Orujova

The tourism sector continues to be attractive to consumers despite the economic muddles plaguing the world. However, the prices of tourism-related services will need to drop if more people are to be attracted to the Land of Fire.

Head of the Tourist Business Department at the Azerbaijan University of Tourism and Management Bahadir Bilalov believes the price for rooms in two- or three-star hotels in Azerbaijan should be lower than those for the same facilities abroad.

The construction of two- and three-star hotels in the country is remarkable news, he told the local media, adding that however it is counterproductive to set the same prices in Azerbaijan as those being charged in France, for instance.

Matching prices defeats the purpose of building such hotels, he believes.

“Unfortunately, today in Azerbaijan, there are practically no hotels available for the middle class, while budget hotels are a prerequisite for attracting tourists,” he stressed.

He went on to note that at present, Baku and the various regions of Azerbaijan were mainly covered with four- and five-star hotels that are only affordable for wealthy travelers.

“Tourists should have the right to choose where to stay, depending on their financial resources and personal preferences,” Bilalov remarked.

The tourism expert claimed the most accessible price for a two-star hotel in Azerbaijan to be 25-30 manat ($24-29) per night and 40 manat ($38) in three-star hotels, with double occupancy.

Azerbaijan and Baku, in particular, have many interesting sites for both Eastern and Western tourists, as the country is a mix of two cultures.

Over one million tourists visited Azerbaijan in the first eight months of this year, while over 2 million tourists came to Azerbaijan last year, which resulted in about one billion manat (over $950,000 million) in revenue from tourism.

In the near future, the country is expected to increase its tourist flow to 5 million per year, and the construction of affordable hotels may be a helpful factor.

At present, the country can accommodate more than 35,000 tourists in its 530 hotels. However, the Tourism Ministry reported earlier that Azerbaijan is planning to build two- and three-star branded hotels.

Azerbaijan hosts a series of luxury brand hotels – Jumeirah, Excelsior, Hilton, Four Seasons, Fairmont, JW Marriott, Kempinski – as well as many budget hotels for cost-conscious travelers. Prices for accommodation in the country start from $15 and increase depending on the hotel brand and amenities provided.

The prices have already been reduced at a number of tourist facilities in the country recently.

SOURCE: AZER NEWS

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