Friday Wrap-up: tourism, movie award and forest fires

Tourism in Azerbaijan. Illustration: Meydan TV.

The week of August 15-19 saw data on tourism in Azerbaijan, Hilal Baydarov receives two awards for his movie and forest fires in Dag Bilici.

Tourism in the South Caucasus: Azerbaijan is lagging behind

The National Tourism Administration of Georgia announced this week that more than two million tourists came to the country between January and July of this year, representing a 47.2% recovery from the pre-pandemic rate. Regarding Armenia, about 770 thousand tourists entered the country in the first seven months of 2022.

Meanwhile, 638 thousand tourists came to Azerbaijan in the same period.

Due to the closure of land borders with Azerbaijan, Russians and Iranians visiting its South Caucasus neighboring countries are giving preference to visiting Georgia and Armenia because of the possibility to travel by land. Both nationalities make up the top-three passports visiting the country, along with Turkey.

“It is interesting that because the land borders are closed, Russian citizens can go to Azerbaijan only by plane, and because the air route is closed, they can go to Georgia only by land. Thus, by keeping land borders closed, Azerbaijan loses Russian and Iranian tourists who can come to the country by land, and at the same time, European tourists who go through Georgia”, explains economist Gubad Ibadoglu,.

Azerbaijani movie awarded in Switzerland

Azerbaijani director Hilal Baydarov’s movie “Sermon to the Fish” won two awards at the 75th Locarno International Film Festival, in Switzerland.

The movie is jointly production by Azerbaijan, Mexico, Switzerland and Turkey, and it is one of the 17 screen works selected from among 3500 movies.

Hilal Baydarov also participates in the Sarajevo Film Festival held from August 12 to 19. The director is one of the three jury members for documentary’s competition this year.

Forest fires in Northern Azerbaijan

Forest fires are raging in the Northern provinces of the country. Residents of several villages are being evacuated, while wild animals and vegetation suffer.

The latest information released by the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) mentions that immediate and urgent measures are being taken to prevent and extinguish the spread of fires. Most firefighting operations are carried out in complex mountainous terrain, which is said to be challenging because of the difficult access.

The fire started on August 15 in Khalfalar village of Shabran region, in an agricultural field. After that, the flames quickly spread to other villages of the region.

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