Iran, S. Africa plan joint working group on tourism

February 9, 2017

TEHRAN – Iran and South Africa are planning to broaden tourism ties through forming a joint working group, which will be tasked with drafting a memorandum of understanding.

Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization Director Zahra Ahmadipour highlighted the issue in a meeting with the visiting South African Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom in Tehran on Monday, CHTN reported.

“In spite of [considerable] distance between the two countries, the Iranian government eyes to boost bilateral tourism ties,” Ahmadipour said.

Hanekom, for his part, hailed the initiative, regarding it as a way that can open up new opportunities for the two nations to enhance tourism partnership.

“Some 5,000 Iranians visited South Africa in 2016, which set a record high in this regard,” the official noted.

“South Africa and Iran already have a strategic partnership that will benefit the people of both our countries,” the South African website, traveller24, quoted Hanekom as saying.

South Africa is among the most popular destinations in the world for Muslim travelers, according to the MasterCard-Crescent Rating Global Muslim Travel Index for 2016, which covers 130 global destinations.

Iran has seen three years in a row with double-digit growth in international arrivals and scheduled global air capacity, a recent analysis carried out by ForwardKeys suggests.

Under the 2025 Tourism Vision plan, the country is expecting to increase the number of tourism arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million by 2025.

PHOTO: CHTHO Director Zahra Ahmadipour presents a gift to South African Minister of Tourism Derek Hanekom in Tehran on February 6, 2017.

AFM/MG

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