Lahij’s languages of opportunity
“I fell in love with tourism. In addition to working as a school teacher, I made sure I participated in workshops where I received very important information that I needed about tourism and how to build a tourism business. I love tourism and learning how to do it right.”
Lahij is one the most beautiful parts of Azerbaijan. Although I was always aware of tourism, I didn’t have any particular interest in tourism. When I learned what tourism is all about at a workshop in Georgia 13 years ago, that is when my whole life changed.
After I came to my country, I started to talk to some people about issues related to tourism and the benefits. Soon, we decided to establish a public union to revive the tourism sector, together with the local authorities. The union was registered two years later. Representatives from the ministry and authors of famous tourist guidebooks began to show interest in our work.
The creation of the Tourism Information Centre in Lahij was one of the most challenging periods of my tourism career. It was very difficult to convince local people of its necessity. Although the first project was approved by the World Bank, we couldn’t find a place for the Centre. There were many people, including my relatives, who created obstacles to our activities. People did not understand the value.
Tourism has utterly changed my life. Lahij, which is one of the most beautiful places not only in the region, but also in the whole Azerbaijan, is experiencing a real tourism life. If our initial focus was on mobilizing people and explaining them the benefits of tourism, now we try to further improve the level of services provided and attract much more tourists in the region. It’s impossible not to be excited with the development of tourism in Lahij. We help poor families offer accommodation to guests visiting Lahij, make regular conversation with them, and provide recommendations on how to improve conditions for guests. This increases their income.
Dadash Aliyev, Azerbaijan