Tourism Malaysia is taking steps to woo more tourists from Azerbaijan and the Caucasus region to Malaysia.
At a recent Malaysia-Azerbaijan Tourism Networking session in Kuala Lumpur, a partnership memorandum was signed between the Azerbaijan Tourism Assosication (AZTA) and Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta).
The two-year cooperation from 2019 will see both parties working with local travel agents to develop special tour packages. It will also pave the way for discussions to establish possible flight connections.
Last year, Malaysia recorded a total of 1,035 tourist arrivals from Azerbaijan, an increase of 12.1% compared to the previous year. The growth trend continues this year with an 18.8% increase in arrivals during the first four months of 2018.
Although the arrival figures are small, they are growing and indicate that the Azerbaijanis are interested in Malaysia as a travel destination. And, this is despite the absence of direct flight connections and limited tourism promotions.
This is not a one-sided thing though. Located at the crossroads between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia, Azerbaijan also has much to offer Malaysian tourists. The country is neighboured by Russia, Georgia, Armenia, Turkey, and Iran.
Often referred to as the “Land of Fire” and the “Pearl of the Caucasus”, Azerbaijan offers a unique historical and cultural heritage including over 7,500 architectural, archaeolocical, and historical monuments, natural beauty, as well as fine cuisine. Its capital and largest city is Baku.
There are many interesting sights to check out in Azerbaijan. For nature and outdoor enthusiasts, visit Shahdag National Park in Pirgulu, Gapijig Mountain or Gamigaya, Duzdag Mountain and Batabat Lake.
Archaelogy enthusiasts might also be intrigued by the petroglyphs and cave drawings at Beyudash Mountain, Dubendi Cave, and Gamigaya; and prehistoric landmarks including Azykh Cave shelter and Yeni Turcan cart ruts. Cities and towns to explore include Baku Old City, Khinalug, Neft Dasları, and Tigranakert of Artsakh.
If history and architecture is your thing, there are many forts, castles, palaces, mosques, churches, monasteries, mausoleums and ancient shrines to explore too. Besides the old, there are also modern structures such as the Flame Towers.