The number of tourists who visited Azerbaijan increased by 20% in 2017, this is approximately 2.6 million people. The goal of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan for the current year is to reach the growth rate of up to 3.5 million tourists.
As Minister Abulfaz Garayev said at a joint conference of the Baku City Circuit operating company and the Automobile Federation of Azerbaijan, over 60 thousand people work in the tourism sector in Baku. Speaking at the conference, Eldar Hajiyev, vice-president of AZAL Closed Joint-Stock Company noted that over the past year Heydar Aliyev International Airport served more than 4 million people, which exceeded the indicators of 2016 by 25%. In January of this year, the growth of services provided by the national airline was 19%. And this is not the limit, as the potential of the international airport is 9 million people a year.
"I think that in the near future Heydar Aliyev Airport will reach its goal and become an international air hub. Earlier the airport got the status of a hub in the field of cargo transportation, which was achieved thanks to the SILKWAY company, which is the company that forms the transportation of goods. Our main goal is to create a center for transit passenger transportation at the Heydar Aliyev airport along with the transformation into a hub,” Eldar Hajiyev, AZAL vice-president said.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport was awarded the category of "4 stars" by the Skytrax, which is influential British consulting company specializing in the study of the quality of services provided by various airlines and airports worldwide.
In March 2017 Baku Heydar Aliyev Airport was named the best airport among airports of Russia and CIS countries for the level of the provided services, being awarded the prestigious Skytrax World Airport Awards.