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Spain finalizes direct flights with Azerbaijan for 2015

Source: Fox News Latino - Thu 20th Nov 2014
Spain finalizes direct flights with Azerbaijan for 2015

Airport authorities from Spain and Azerbaijan are finalizing the establishment of a regular direct flight route between their respective capitals, Madrid and Baku, starting in 2015, the No. 2 official within the Azerbaijani Tourism Ministry told Efe.

Nazim Samadov, who is presently participating in the Eibtm business tourism exhibition in Barcelona, said that the route is a big leap forward in facilitating the flow of tourists and spurring business between the two countries.

Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus and is an oil producer - as well as occupying a strategic location between Europe and Asia - but it is barely known among Europeans.

Samadov said that the recognition that "the benefits of oil will not last forever" has pushed local authorities to develop other economic sectors, including tourism, agriculture and information and communications technology.

Regarding tourism, the country has made significant efforts to emerge from anonymity and become a favorite vacation and business destination for Spaniards.

"We want to break the stereotype that Azerbaijan is an expensive country," said Samadov, adding that in recent years his government has "forcefully" invested to develop top-level tourist facilities and infrastructure.

He admitted that the main obstacle to attracting more Spanish visitors is the fact that Azerbaijan is largely unknown in Spain, and he emphasized the need to increase Baku's commercial activities and marketing efforts.

The biggest achievement so far in projecting Azerbaijan's image internationally came, coincidentally, at the hands of a group of Spaniards: "The jerseys for the Atletico de Madrid (soccer club) are the best investment in publicity that we've ever made," Samadov.

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