Opportunities and prospects for the development of speleotourism in Azerbaijan


Keywords: natural monument, cave, spelotourism, tourism, Azykh, Taghlar, Damjili, Gazma

Abstract

Tourism has a positive impact on many sectors of the world economy because it unequivocally affects the growth of life and economic activity of the local population, increasing the socio-economic indicators of the region, improving the road infrastructure, and necessitating infrastructural development. Tourism is growing and diversifying around the world, people are not only traveling to have fun, relax or spend their free time, but also because of their interest in alternative types of tourism. This approach requires the further development of regions rich in tourism and recreation resources, which, in turn, paves the way for sustainable development in the regional context. From a regional point of view, one of the important conditions for the development of tourism is the presence of unique natural monuments. One type of these natural monuments is caves, on the basis of which it is possible to develop speleotourism. Speleotourism is a complex type of tourism, the difficulty of which depends on limitations of natural light, high relative humidity, low air temperature, relief forms, and the degree of difficulty of routes. Speleotourism requires careful and trained hiking, as well as strength, endurance, agility, and the ability to use technical means of insurance. The article presents for the first time information on the classification of caves, states the importance of determining their status, and examines the caves in Azerbaijan which are distinguished by high values of speleotourism. In addition, the article examines the use of caves as shelters by primitive people and as sources of creation of legends and myths, their value as shrines and temples, as historical and cultural heritage, their use for sports and recreation purposes, as well as their use in enhancing the attractiveness of tourism. The authors prove the importance of using caves in Azerbaijan as a tourist product for the development of speleotourism, sites which are distinguished by their natural attractiveness, geological structure, historical past and archaeological finds, as well as convenient transport infrastructure. Scientific studies show that speleotourism is a promising tool for the development of regional tourism. The authors predict that in the future speleotourism in Azerbaijan will be an aspect of the country’s international tourism.

Author Biographies

Zaur T. Imrani
Institute of Geography named after acad. H.A. Aliyev of National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Baku, Azerbaijan
Kamala Z. Zeynalova
Institute of Geography named after acad. H.A. Aliyev of National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, Baku, Azerbaijan
Gulnare Sh. Mammadova
Lankaran State University, Lankaran, Azerbaijan
Oleksandr Y. Vysotskyi
Oles Honchar Dnipro National University, Dnipro, Ukraine

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Published
2022-08-03
How to Cite
Imrani, Z., Zeynalova, K., Mammadova, G., & Vysotskyi, O. (2022). Opportunities and prospects for the development of speleotourism in Azerbaijan. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 31(2), 293-301. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.15421/112227