|Tourism can be a pillar of resistance economy: Iranian minister||
TEHRAN – Iranian Intelligence Minister Hojatoleslam Seyyed Mahmoud Alavi has said that development of the tourism industry should be taken seriously, since it can be one of the cornerstones of the “resistance economy” proposed by the Supreme Leader.
“Serious attention should be paid to the issue of tourism, and as one of the pillars of the resistance economy… it can be a matter of special attention,” Alavi told a meeting of people active in the tourism industry on Thursday.
The minister said tourism is one of among many apparatuses to familiarize the world with “our revolution”, a reference to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“Our revolution was a cultural revolution and its export should also be done culturally,” the intelligence chief noted.
He went on to say those foreigners who have visited Iran and seen the “realties” have been defying media war launched against Iran by enemies. In fact, he said, they have been acting like “ambassador” for the Iranian culture.
Alavi also said usually a great majority tourists respect the culture and rules of countries that they visit.
He added every activity including foreign tourism may bring about some problems but it does not mean that the doors to foreign tourism should be “closed” due to possible emergence of some social ills.
He also said the culture of respecting tourists should be promoted.
The minister also said many countries which have far less tourist attractions than Iran have succeeded to woo many foreign travelers and gain lots of revenues.
“Through planning and cooperation between all state bodies and private sector, we should use our country’s cultural and historical attractions to woo tourist.”
The development of tourism industry is one the best tools to counter problems resulted from sanctions against the country, the minister said in an indirect reference to the economic embargo against Iran for its nuclear program.
Iran has insisted that its nuclear program is solely for peaceful purposes and negotiations are underway to resolve the decade-long dispute with the West.
‘Ministry seeks to remove hurdles in promoting tourism’
“Our view and direction in the Ministry of Intelligence is to remove problems and hurdles.”
Currently visa is issued for tourists upon arrival in two Iranian airports and in the future it will be done in another two airports, the minister announced.
He also said Iran has rescinded visa requirements with 12 countries.
“The Ministry of Intelligence has provided a good situation for possible cancellation of visa with countries.”
He went on to say that completion and construction of infrastructure projects for tourists should be given high priority so that “we soon witness a rise in this field of economy which has the capacity for the export of our revolution and culture.”
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