Envoy: Azerbaijan, Portugal in talks over tourism co-op

Azerbaijan and Portugal are currently in talks over cooperation in tourism, Paula Leal da Silva, Portuguese ambassador to Azerbaijan, said in an interview with Azernews, Trend reports.

Portugal’s Ministry of Economy and the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture and Tourism are negotiating a cooperation protocol, she said, adding the Portuguese side is looking forward to concluding the protocol soon.

“Azerbaijan has been developing its tourism sector with great success. Portugal has been a tourist destination for a long time and, recently, the tourism industry has expanded exponentially,” the envoy said.

Currently, tourism’s share in the Portuguese GDP is 10 percent, she added.

There is no charter or regular flight from Baku to Lisbon yet, but Azerbaijani tourists are slowly discovering Portugal, Paula Leal da Silva said.

The diplomat noted that 1,283 Azerbaijani tourists visited Portugal in 2015 compared to 314 in 2010.

“People who have visited my country used to say that Portugal is one of Europe’s best kept secrets, but I believe that such a secret is now becoming real.”

Further in the interview, the envoy expressed hope that the planned visit of the Azerbaijani Minister of Youth and Sport Azad Rahimov to Portugal in 2017 will help to foster cooperation in sports and in matters relating to the youth.


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