Tourism is one of the priorities in the non-oil sector development in Azerbaijan. In order to ensure continued development in this area, the government supports implementation of important programs and projects, legislative improvements, and the development of related infrastructure. The Decree of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, of September 1, 2016, on Additional Tourism Development Measures in Azerbaijan marks a new phase for future development of the sector. The organization of shopping festivals in Baku is among the actions carried out upon the decree.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), shopping tourism has been developing rapidly for the last 10 years. A number of countries that have successfully developed in this direction have now proclaimed themselves as shopping tourism centres. Shopping is one of main categories of tourists’ expenses and, in combination with other economic sectors, makes a significant contribution to the state budget. According to analysis, shopping ranks fourth among worldwide tourist preferences, and accounts for 35% of their expenses.
This year the first Baku Shopping Festival will be held on April 10 – May 10. According to the presidential decree and directive, the Strategic Road Map on Specialized Tourism Industry Development has assigned the Bureau of Congresses at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan with the arrangement and hosting of shopping festivals.
During the BSF local buyers, along with foreign tourists, will also have a chance to take part in some exciting shopping and interesting entertainment activities. The broad promotion of such an event in Baku will increase the number of tourists visiting the country and give an impetus to the development of tourism, trade, transport and other sectors of the economy. Besides intensified trade, the Shopping Festivals will include various entertainment events, including fashion shows, concerts, theatre and cinema premieres, which makes the Festival the real feast for the whole family.
The currently emerging worldwide shopping tourism trend will further strengthen the image of Azerbaijan on the international tourism market, diversify its tourism products and help develop new competitive tourism services.