Iran sets sights on expats to boost tourism

November 21, 2017

TEHRAN – The Iranian tourism body aims to exploit “untapped potential” of expatriates who can prompt foreign nationals to visit the country.

Based on a scheme proposed by the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) to the Foreign Ministry, each Iranian living abroad will receive a free airline ticket home against encouraging five foreign nationals to travel to the country.

CHTHO Deputy Director Mohammad Moheb-Khodai put forward the provision of incentives to compatriots who can act as tourism marketers or tour operators, Mehr reported.

Based on a proposed scheme, each Iranian living abroad will receive a free airline ticket home against encouraging five foreign nationals to travel to the country.

He made the remarks in a meeting with several Foreign Ministry officials and travel activists on November 15.

“The Foreign Ministry is aimed to develop a database for influential Iranian expats and elites,” said Ali Asghar Mohammadi who presides over expatriates division at the ministry, adding that over five million Iranians are scattered across the globe.

It is vital to form a specialized team to reveal possible hurdles with the plan over the whole span of traveling time that commences upon arrival in the country, Mohammadi explained.

Back in May, First Vice-President Es’haq Jahangiri described Iranians living abroad as “precious opportunities” for Iran, saying, “In terms of knowledge, they have occupied lofty ranks in the world. Also, in terms of money, they are very powerful and can help most sectors in the country.”

A total of 360,200 of expatriate Iranians visited home as sightseers during the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21–June 21), CHTHO announced.

Filled from corner to corner with ancient bazaars, museums, mosques, monuments, gardens, historical sites, rich natural and rural landscapes, Iran hosts some of the world’s oldest cultural monuments, including 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

  1. PHOTO: Tourists visit a Zoroastrian tower of silence and its adjacent fire temple in Yazd, central Iran.

AFM/MQ/MG

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