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Inclusion of Sheki on UNESCO’s World Heritage List to increase tourists' flow to country - OPINIONS

​Inclusion of Sheki on UNESCO's List to increase tourists flow

Historic center of Sheki with the Khan's Palace was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in the 43rd session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee held in Baku.

Earlier in 2000, Icherisheher State Historical-Architectural Reserve, then in 2007 Gobustan State Historical-Artistic Reserve were added to UNESCO's World Heritage List. Moreover , 13 examples of the intangible cultural heritage of our country are included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

These above mentioned cultural samples occupy a special place among the national- cultural values of Azerbaijan, as well as are considered to be one of the most important tourist destinations in the country, while occupy a special place.

In this regard, Report studied the opinion of tourism experts about the importance of inclusion of historic center of Sheki with the Khan's Palace on the UNESCO's World Heritage List from the standpoint of tourism development in Azerbaijan.

Ruslan Guliyev, Chairman of the Azerbaijani Association for Support of Medical and Thermal Tourism and President of the World Health Tourism Organization inclusion of Sheki with the Khan's Palace on the UNESCO's World Heritage List should be regarded as a solemn event in the history of Azerbaijani culture:

"We had been waiting to succeed it for a long time. Besides being praiseworthy event in the cultural life of the country, it is also important for the development of the tourism sector in the country. Travel tours are organized to cultural and historical sites of our regions that are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List within the different tours carried out by tourism companies. Foreign tourists are very interested in these trips. There are people in many European countries, who want to come to the cultural sites included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In this regard, inclusion of, Icheri Sheher, Maiden Tower and Shirvanshah’s Palace Complex, Gobustan Rock Art Cultural Landscape and Historic Center of Sheki with the Khan’s Palace, as well as 13 examples of the intangible cultural heritage of our people on the UNESCO's World Heritage List will have a significant impact on the increase in the number of tourists visiting Azerbaijan and will make a great contribution to the development of tourism.

Ruslan Quliyev

Ruslan Guliyev, Chairman of the Azerbaijani Association for Support of Medical and Thermal Tourism and President of the World Health Tourism Organization

"Projects in 3D virtual travel format can be organized to that area."

So far, Sheki has always been in the spotlight for its historical, cultural heritage and tourism importance. I think that further attention will be paid to this region and additional action plan will be prepared to protect Sheki Khan Palace as a cultural heritage. "

"In parallel, there is a need for further work in Sheki to reflect the history of the region. For example, projects in 3D virtual travel format can be organized to that area, "Ruslan Guliyev said.

Chairman of Azerbaijan Tourism Association Nahid Bagirov also noted that inclusion of historic center of Sheki with Khan’s palace on the UNESCO's World Heritage List is of great importance for the Azerbaijani tourism sector:

"Tourism companies around the world will mention that three historical monuments in Azerbaijan are included on UNESCO’s list. This will undoubtedly attract the attention of tourists who choose the country for travel. Since there are many people interested in historical and cultural monuments in different countries. There are different types of tourism. One of them is cultural tourism, which is organized to familiarize with various historical-cultural monuments, museums, theaters, public buildings, people's life and traditions. There are many people in the world who are interested in the monuments included on the UNESCO's heritage list and travel to see those monuments. Therefore, inclusion of historic center of Sheki with Khan’s palace on this list will increase the tourist flow to the country.

Nahid Bağırov

Chairman of Azerbaijan Tourism Association Nahid Bagirov

"Every tourist country first promotes its well-known monuments in the world arena".

This event will also play an important role in protecting the "Khan’s Palace" as a cultural heritage. Since, this monument will be considered a universal heritage. From this standpoint, inclusion of historic center of Sheki with Khan’s Palace on the UNESCO's World Heritage List is a great historical factor for Azerbaijan.

"Thereafter , tourism companies and affiliated organizations should be involved in the activities on exaggeration the issue of inclusion of 3 cultural-historical samples of Azerbaijan on the UNESCO’s list and do extensive work on propaganda around the world. Since every tourist country first promotes its well-known monuments in the world arena. "

According to tourism expert Agil Agalarov, there is an increase in the number of foreign tourists interested in Sheki:

The inclusion of historic center of Sheki with Khan’s Palace has already caused great interest of tourists. Tourist companies receive requests on organization of trips to Sheki for foreign tourists.

There are many people in Europe who want to travel to the sites that are included on UNESCO's list. The number of foreign tourists, who are interested in Sheki city, has increased in Azerbaijan as well.

A number of tourism companies in the country have informed their partner companies in Georgia, Turkey, Russia and Ukraine on this event. Thereon, information on this significant event will be posted on the advertising videos. "

Aqil Ağalarov

Tourism expert Agil Agalarov

"Taking into account this factor, there should be created shady places, especially for the rest of older and middle-aged tourists."

According to the expert, inclusion of historic center of Sheki with Khan’s Palace on the UNESCO’S World Heritage List is the result of special care provided by the President and first lady Mehriban Aliyeva to our Culture:

"Preparations on inclusion of Sheki on the UNESCO’s list have been carried out for a long time. Especially it was realized at the initiative of the President and first lady. As part of the preparatory work carried out by the state, the roads in Sheki, especially to the Khan Palace, were repaired, as well as repair and restoration works of several monuments, including Karavansaray, were completed.

Certain work should be done to avoid the emergence of queues during the tourist flow to the Khan Palace. Until the yard of the "Khan Palace", tourists have to walk some distance. "Taking into account this factor, there should be created shady places, especially for the rest of older and middle-aged tourists", Agalarov added.

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