Newsletter March 2015

Introduction: 

As Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are becoming the new sought after tourism markets, B2B Luxury & MICE Workshop held in Baku and Almaty on 14th and 16th of April 2015 is welcoming a good number of new international participants, particularly from Switzerland which will be the Golden sponsors of the Gala Evening Cocktail. Other international participants include Spain and regional representatives from Costa del Sol and Catalonia. Greek Tourism Board will also participate again, there is an overall increase of 35% compared to 2014.  To help you prepare for your visit to the B2B workshop, we are delighted to share with you the latest updates from the outbound tourism markets of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan and announce that Costa del Sol will be the General sponsor of the B2B workshop.


 

Azerbaijan

  • A number of the new flights have recently opened connected Baku to even more international destinations around Europe. The Azerbaijan national carrier AZAL has announced the new flight Baku-Berlin (TXL) starting from May 2, 2015, that will operate twice a week. Previously, AZAL has introduced the new flights from Baku to New York and Geneva.
  • The Spanish airline Vueling has plans to launch a direct seasonal flight Baku-Barcelona starting from June 2015. The introduction of the direct flight connection led to an increase in the number of Spanish participants, including the participation of Turespana and Southern Spanish region of Costa del Sol, along with Hotels participants from Spain. Turisme de Barcelona will also participate for the first time.
  • Etihad Airways announced the launch of Baku – Abu Dhabi flight from 1st of October 2015 which will open the market up to more destinations in the Middle East, as well as provide better flights connections to Asia.
  • The Azerbaijan Convention Bureau will take part in the B2B Luxury & MICE exhibition in Almaty, as part of their marketing strategy to position Azerbaijan as a new Meetings and Incentive destination.
  • Azerbaijan is the official partner of the CondeNast Traveller Luxury Travel Fair-2015, which will be held for the 2nd year in Moscow in March. This is part of its efforts to position itself in the Russian market as a new luxury destination, since Baku has seen a large number of 5* hotels open in the City centre over the last 3 years as well as the extensive renovation of the historical part of the city centre.
  • According to TMI study, most of the Azerbaijani leisure tourists prefer travelling with family members (35%), followed by travelling with friends (25%). As Turkey still holds strong positions as the family destination, other European destinations such as Italy and France are showing double-digit growth over the years. This is due to the direct flight connections and great possibilities for shopping that is one of the most enjoyed leisure activities of the Azerbaijani tourists.
  • A new Intercontinental hotel will open in Baku in 2016 in the center of the Azeri capital. The hotel will feature 105 rooms, a swimming pool, spa and fitness center and will become the first hotel in Azerbaijan under IHG brand. Brands such as the Hyatt, Four seasons, Fairmont, Jumeirah, Marriott and Hilton and have opened properties there recently

Kazakhstan 

  • Air Astana launched a direct flight from Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, to Bangkok (Thailand), operating from December, 15, 2014. The flight will operate twice a week. Astana will become the second Kazakh city connected with Bangkok. In 2003 Air Astana introduced Almaty-Bangkok service.
  • Kazakhstan’s national airline Air Astana announced the launch of the new flight Astana-Tbilisi (Georgia) starting from June, 2, 2015. The flight will operate 5 days a week. The outbound traffic from Kazakhstan to Georgia has increased by 40% for the past year which became the main driver for introducing new flight
  • A new Kazakh airline will be launched at the end of 2015 called ‘Air Kazakhstan’, it will operate domestic and regional flights. The new airline will be based in Astana and Almaty but is planning to add Aktau or Atyrau as additional hubs.
  • According to the Kazakh Statistics Service over the last three years tourism for medical and health purposes has been growing at an average annual rate of 30%. According to TMI study, the top destinations among Kazakh tourists for medical purposes are Germany, Israel, China and South Korea, while the spa resorts in Czech Republic, Slovenia and Hungary are the preferred European destinations for spa and health tourism.
  • Bulgaria has introduced a facilitated visa regime for Kazakhstan, along with other CIS countries, including: Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Ukraine and Georgia. From now on Kazakh citizens will be able to obtain multiple Bulgarian tourist visas for 1 year.

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