Where do Bakuvians go on vacation?
The real value of the Manat today is 1.5 times lower than a year and a half ago, and it’s already the second summer that many Bakuvians weren’t able to afford to travel abroad on vacation. We’ve conducted a small vox pop to find out where Bakuvians go on vacation nowadays. Here are the most popular destinations:
These have never stopped being popular, perhaps due to our love for everything we’ve gotten used to-the cuisine, the environment, the road, etc. In addition to this, after the drop in the Manat’s rate, Azerbaijan has suddenly become much cheaper than even neighboring Georgia for many people.
Like in previous years, Adnan, 29, will go to Nabran, a woodsy coastal region of Azerbaijan, built up with costly hotels and cheap cottages. “We visited my wife’s relatives in Russia last year and before that we went to Europe, he says. “It’s unlikely that we will go anywhere this year. If I can manage it, I will go to Nabran or Sheki. As far as I know, there are cheap tours that go to those place and you can rent a room or even an apartment at a low price there.
Vagif, 30, says: “There is mass interest in regional areas at my job. That is to say, there are many people who want to rent a room somewhere “out there”. On average accomodation is AZN10 [about $6 US] for a person per night. That’s 3-4 times cheaper than in hotels.
There are also people who still spend their vacation in Georgia. Though, many have noticed that prices have gone up there, one of the reasons being the fact that the Matan has considerably decreased in value against the Lari. As a rule, Georgia is regarded in Azerbaijan as a budget vacation destination, when people don’t have enough money to go to the Eurozone.
Sergey, 37, visited Georgia’s Batumi resort this year together with his family. “It has become much more expensive, in general, and that’s not just because of the Manat. The prices in Laris have also increased. Locals say that it’s due to the influx of the Russian tourists, who aren’t able to go to Turkey because of sanctions. If it’s going to be the same next year and the situation in Azerbaijan does not improve, we will not go to Batumi either.
Alexander, 35, states: “The economic situation in the country hasn’t had much of an effect on me. The thing that had truly affected me is my mortgage, which is why Georgia is the only place I can go.
Nigyar, 32, states: “We are going to travel to Batumi in August. I have no idea where we are going to get the money for that, but we are still planning on doing it. She says her income depends on the economic situation in the country. Why Georgia? Because there are low prices and good quality service compared with that in the regions of Azerbaijan.
Home, Sweet Home
Of course, there are also people who won’t go anywhere this year, except perhaps the suburbs. Expensive tickets, including train tickets (which has gone up by 1,7 times in price), as well as instability (in view of the unpredictable economic situation, it is better to save for a rainy day), are named among the reasons why.
Grigory, 50, states: “As usual, this year I will spend my vacation in my country house, watching Youtube traveler channels. I’m unable to afford to travel abroad and my income in dollars have certainly gone down.
Dmitry, 33, says: “My summer holiday this year will be on the beach, drinking beer, eating watermelons, sunflower seeds and fruits. I sometimes wish there were no times when I wasn’t able to afford this, too.
Anar, 32, states: “My income is the same, but purchasing capacity has dropped. I feel uncomfortable. I haven’t planned to go anywhere this year. Although I would have abeen able to afford it, I prefer to save some money.
People who don’t have a care in the world
Some people are ready to go all out on an expensive tourist destination, but this is in spite of the crisis, having found a chance to economize or just out of principle.
Victor, 34, states: “We travelled to Europe in summer because you can take a Wizzair flight in summer at the same price that you would have to pay to travel by train to Batumi.
Lala, 34, says: “We went to Tbilisi to attend the Robbie Williams’ concert in May. It was a budget trip: we used our own car; there was a huge apartment, which we had rented for 6 adults; absurd ticket prices (as much as 20 GEL). In July, I’m going to visit Kemer [Turkey] for with my child for 10 days, but that’s because my sister has rented a house there for a month (though a Russian mediator). Then, we will travel to visit my husband’s relatives in Moscow for a couple of weeks. We’ve splurged on the tickets only because we won’t have to pay for accommodations anywhere else. While both my husband and I, work, we have some extra funds for superfluity. But if it was only my husband who was the one working, we would have hardly been able to afford to travel anywhere.
Alihan, 47, used to travel to Europe with his family every year. He says he has been to almost half of the EU countries. “We are going to travel there this year, too, most likely in August, in spite of things that are going on, or just to make our lives a little bit brighter.
An exotic vacation
The author of this article has not met anyone fond of exotic vacations (faraway islands or somewhere in the depths of the Amazon).