Nakhchivan  Autonomous Republic  with underground  and aboveground  wealth, rich fossils, famous mineral springs curing the patients, Gamigaya descriptive monuments of art, painted crockery with artistic arrangement, bronze hardware, is now one of the wonderful touristic places of the world.

     Suitable geographical-political position of autonomous republic, different climatic zones and nature, rich and variety of  animal universe, historical-cultural heritage, specific and abundant cuisine, high hospitality traditions, new social-economic conditions allowing the involvement not only of state organizations, but also of private firms, foreign investors and owners in tourism sector.

   Distinctly, in every place of autonomous  republic even in most remote villages, establishment of  suitable infrastructure, special attention of leadership  offer facilities to universal development of tourism in Nakhchivan.

    Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic has auspicious political-geographical position. Thus, having  borders with great touristic potentials as the Republic of Turkey and the Islamic Republic of  Iran, location over the Great Silk Way are of main factors which offer facilities to the development of tourism in autonomous republic. There are conditions to develop historical-cultural tourism, ecological and green village tourism, pilgrim, treatment, ethical, mountain and other types of tourism. Major part of autonomous republic consists of Zangazur and Daralayaz mountain ranges and sloping plateaus stretching along the Aras river. 75 per cent of  its area is situated  over 1000 m. altitude. This land is distinguished with its fascinating nature, colorful plant and animal universe. Though autonomous republic seems to be the more arid and bare  at the first sight, it is the richer and more colorful while visiting inner parts of it. Rare fauna and flora of Azerbaijan  have settled  here. 7 climatic zones out of 11,  existing in the world  are met in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. There are more than 3000 plant species and 350 animal species in the area of Autonomous  Republic. More than half of bird species- 247 out of total 366 registered in Azerbaijan Republic have built nests in autonomous republic. Some plants and animal species are endemic for autonomous republic. Most villages of autonomous republic are situated in mountainous areas and its branch  green village, mountain tourism are developed in Nakhchivan.

     Broad area, fertile land, pure water, fresh weather, abundant sunrays – these are rich natural resources. The solar radiation in autonomous republic is the highest – 144-156 kkal/sm2 in Azerbaijan. Most varieties of natural plant resources about 700 of  Nakhchivan   Autonomous  Republic  are herbal treatment plants. Autonomous republic shares 60% of mineral water supplies of Azerbaijan. Roughly 250 mineral water sources  have been registered. Some  of these mineral waters are used with the aim of treatment (Badamli, Sirab, Daridag, Kidney water and so on)  Duzdag  Physiotherapical Centre with the capacity of accepting  350 patients at the same time and Daridag Arsenli Water Treatment House are the major treatment centers which hundreds of tourists from several countries pay visit. In a word, the potentiality is great for the development of treatment tourism.

     While speaking about the tourism potentiality of any country, its historical-cultural heritage is drawn to the first plan. The measurement of the history of Nakhchivan for milleniums or thousands of years, the existence of historical architectural monuments regarded  as the pearl of the world here, rich  cultural heritage make this land significant for foreign tourists. Momine Khatun, Yusif Kuseiroglu shrines, Garabaglar Architecture Complex, Khanagah Monument Complex, Gamigaya mural scripts related to Noah prophet’s  ship, legendary Hacha mountain, reservation  city – Ordubad rich in monuments, Ashabi-Cave pilgrimage are dealt with in the holy  Koran. Over 5000 year-old Nakhchivan city ancient buildings, castles, dwellings and necropolises, folk art samples preserved by now attract tourists’ attentions more. If we add here the rich folklore of Nakhchivan land, music and descriptive art, literature we would witness how big possibilities exist in the development of historical-cultural tourism according to the decree dated 2005, December 6 issued by the chairman of the Supreme Majlis of Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, 57 immovable historical cultural monuments are of world, nearly 500 of state significance out of 1202 registered ones. Momine Khatun shrine, Khan palace, Zaviya, Madrasa building, Nakhchivan Jami mosque, Noah prophet’s tomb, East hamam, imamzades in Nakhchivan city and Sharur region.Geysariyya Zorkhana (Wrestling  and  weight-lifting house)  in Ordubad city, ancient hamam, underground temple, Ashabi-Cave pilgrimage, in Jolfa region, Khanagah Monument Complex, Alinjagala historical monument were reconstructed. Currently Gulustan sepulcher still continues to be reconstructed. Tourism exhibition objects play specific roles in the development of historical-cultural tourism. From this standpoint, Nakhchivan may be called “the land of museums” 29 museum and museum-type institutions  are  functioning in autonomous republic  and 16 of them have been established after 1995. 1 nature reserve, 1 National Park, 3 nature game reserve, 1 pilgrim  complex, 3 theatres, 2 philharmonics,  banks, trade centers and others are of  great significance in the development of tourism. There 21 hotels in autonomous republic. Tabriz and Duzdag hotels are in 5 star category. 3 legal and 4 physical persons are engaging with tourism activity.

                                         2001           2007        2008         2015  

Hotels                                5                 22           22                21

The  fund of number          187             516          654             623

The number of  place         317             1145        1438          1448

Guest stayed                      4576            18638     20226         60275

Foreigners                          2391            11926     13230        42634

                     Tourists visiting autonomous republic

                   2006              2007        2010          2014         2015

                 93930            140895     288000      378102   390000

Thanks to the policy pursued by the leader of the autonomous republic, favorable infrastructure has been established in every area of Nakhchivan. Convenient ways have been built leading to the remote mountainous villages, inaccessible nooks of the nature. Historical monuments are reconstructed with renovation of surroundings  and preserved. A special care is taken for the development of minor and secondary ownership. All these are important factors giving rise to the tourism potentiality. There exist modern hotel, traffic-transport and restaurant chain for tourists’ convenient relax in Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. Incessant electric energy, fast internet, telephone communication meeting the up-to-date requirements  are the crucial  elements   of tourism infrastructure . In more than 20 hotels  with the capacity of more than 1400 people in autonomous republic up-to-date conditions were  provided for coming tourists to spend the night and to hold business meetings.

    At present touristic routes of Nakhchivan- Garabaglar, Nakhchivan-Ashabi-Kahf cave, Nakhchivan-Batabat are in use. Continuous working is  carried out in the direction of the development of  canvass of tourism potentiality of autonomous republic. Tens of advertising information materials  have been prepared, pre-roll  ads and films have been made in relation with the history of Nakhchivan, culture, tourism routes, cuisine and traditions. The development of tourism is also dependent on professional cadres in this sector. Consistent measures are taken with the aim of providing this sector with qualified cadres. Now cadres for Tourism and Hotel-keeping specialties are prepared in Nakhchivan State University and Nakhchivan University.

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                                                            Translator:  Babayev Javid