Foreigners Show No Interest in Baku Shopping Festival

Baku / 02.05.17 / Turan: It seems the shopping festival in Baku does not justify the hopes of the organizers in terms of the expected interest from foreigners.

Both figures and visual observations in the city speak about this.

According to the Ministry of Taxes, as of April 23, within the framework of the festival there was trade for a total of 6 million 313.2 thousand manat, of which VAT amounted to 612.97 thousand manat.

The customers were returned 595,000 manat in cash.

At the same time, during the 2 weeks of the festival, 8,358 electronic tax billing invoices were made for goods purchased in 172 facilities, out of which an absolute majority, namely 7,902, fell on the share of Azerbaijani citizens and only 505 – on foreign citizens.

It should be noted that in general, organizers plan to spend AZN 1.5 million on organizing two shopping festivals in Baku and earn 50 million manat.

From the point of view of attracting tourists, the shopping festival cannot be considered successful either, because only one visual monitoring of Baku streets gives grounds to say the number of tourists did not increase for the time of the festival. The usual mass of Arab tourists did not increase.

At the same time the Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfas Garayev is satisfied with the progress of the festival. In a conversation with reporters, he said 10% of the cost of purchases returned to customers. In general, the trade turnover increased by 3.5 million manat.

“At the moment we see a growing interest in the festival. There was no serious advertising. We believe the festival itself is of interest,” he said.

The economist Gubad Ibadoglu in an interview with Turan noted that statistics show a low level of interest of foreigners to the shopping festival.

“The main goal was to attract even more tourists and a large number of tourists who came to Baku during the festival. However, the expectations did not materialize,” he said.

In his opinion, taking into account the first experience, it is necessary to draw conclusions and analyze problems.

“It's not just that there are very few local products. The problem is that local production does not meet international standards,” Ibadoglu said.

Note that in the world the most famous shopping festivals are held in Dubai and Istanbul. The success of the Dubai festival is that the city is a free economic zone and the prices for goods, especially, during the festival are much lower than in other cities. And the success of Istanbul is that Turkey has a very strong textile industry, the capacity of which is used during festivals. During the shopping festival in Istanbul, the average tourist growth is 15%, and the turnover growth is 26%. The average revenue from the festival comes from 3 billion to 3.8 billion dollars. -71D-

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