Azerbaijan Ecotourism Association established to foster sustainable tourism

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Encouraged by the recent sustainable reforms introduced by the government of President Ilham Aliyev, a group of experienced professionals has committed to the formation of the Azerbaijan Ecotourism Association (AETA) to implement and foster ecological culture and ecotourism in Azerbaijan.

The founders of AETA have consulted with local and foreign experts and representatives of organizations, among them The International Ecotourism Society (TIES), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), REM Caucasus Regional Eco Center, DAIR Hotels and Restaurants Association, the Azerbaijan Nature Protection Society, the State Tourism Agency and Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan Republic.

The association aims to support and facilitate activities to help move Azerbaijan to a leadership position among sustainable tourism countries.  As part of their mission, AETA will additionally advocate and promote the development of ecological culture, ecotourism, environmental protection, conservation of biodiversity and sustainable tourism, support the creation of new ecotourism products (such as outdoor activities, healthy and ecological food, agritourism, rural tourism, eco-hotels, eco hospitality) and promote them on international markets, representing Azerbaijan as a country of ecotourism.

The founders of the association have jointly stated that they will do best to promote and support development of eco-culture and ecotourism in Azerbaijan and call up the public to support them along this path, especially focusing on motivating young people to be more active in pursuing sustainability within their country.

AETA leader Samir Dubendi, Chairman of the Executive Board of DAIR Hotels and Restaurants Association, and head lecturer of ATMU Hotel and restaurant business department, expressed hope that the association would be up and running completely within a month, saying “We are working hard to do everything as rapidly as we can”.

Mr. Dubendi additionally stated that he and the other founders will continue to collaborate closely with international experts and organizations as they move toward their goals.  “My colleagues and I hope to be in permanent touch with TIES, to adopt and share your indispensable experience.”

In addition to Mr. Dubendi, Zurab Israfilov, Rufat Gojayev, and Vugar Dargahov are founders and experts with considerable experience and obvious acumen.

We at TIES congratulate the founders of AETA on this important undertaking.

www.ecotourism.org The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) 2020

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