Russian tourists eager to replace Turkey and Egypt with Iran: official

January 17, 2016 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Russian tourists are eager to replace Turkey and Egypt with Iran, the deputy head of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicraft Organization of Iran, Morteza Rahmani-Movahhed, said.

With flights to Egypt banned on November 14 and a de-facto ban on selling package tours to Turkey in place from November 24, Russians’ two preferred destinations in the first half of 2015 were canceled.

Rahmani-Movahhed travelled to Moscow last week to discuss further cooperation in the field of tourism between the two countries.

During a meeting with the director of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism Oleg Safonov on Thursday, Rahmani-Movahhed proposed Iran’s Kish Island as a proffered winter destination for Russians.

He called Iran a country with various kinds of attractions which would satisfy a diverse range of tourists.

The Iranian official said Tehran would welcome a mutual step on visa cancellation from the Russian government.

During the meeting, Safonov also talked about visa cancelation, more organized flights, and introduction of tourism in the two countries.

“Russian officials believe that Iran is a safe country and we are sure that it has enough facilities to provide security for Russian tourists,” Safonov concluded.

On Thursday, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei said Iran could cancel visas for tourists arriving in the country from Russia on a unilateral basis.

In October 2015, Iran extended the term for Russian visas issued at the airport to 30 days.