Formula 1 has increased Azerbaijan tourism by 20% in terms of inflow, according to Arif Rahimov, promotor of the Baku Grand Prix. For the organizers, the 2016 event was a huge success. The locals are big fans of motorsports.
In the draft 2017 calendar of the Baku race passed by the designation of the European Grand Prix at the Grand Prix of Azerbaijan, it was determined that the window of Formula 1 will be used as the main promotional vehicle for the country.
Arif Rahimov, promoter of the event, talked about the positive balance of last year’s race. “By touching all the most picturesque parts of the city we found the satisfaction of both the public and the pilots. It was a big challenge, because building a track within a city is a big logistical operation.”
One of the main objectives of the Azerbaijani organizers was to excite the locals. “The passion for motorsport is a new thing here in Azerbaijan. So, having had so many people in the stands and hear all these compliments really makes us proud. We are trying to educate people about motorsport in our country. Through social media, university, television programs etc.”
The organization of the next season will not be much different. “We will modify only the ticket sales strategy. It will be revised regarding the price levels of the event packages. We will sell tickets for two or three days, or only for one day.”
Rahimov also stressed the benefits brought by Formula 1to the Azerbaijan tourism. “We had a big increase, the inflow of visitors was 20% higher compared to 2015. The exposure received has turned the spotlight on our country throughout the year. Our contract is ten years long. There are clauses to stop it in advance, but it will run until 2025. We haven’t talked to the new owners of Liberty Media, but only with Bernie Ecclestone.”