Visa-free entry an alternative to oil economy: expert 

September 13, 2018

The head of Alborz province’s chamber of commerce, industries, mines and agriculture believes that starting a visa-free regime for inbound travelers to Iran is an alternative to the country’s oil-reliant economy.

Rahim Banna-Molaei told ISNA in an interview published on Tuesday that “Granting free visas to foreign tourists is a path to get out of economic pressures.” 

“Countries which have focused on the tourism industry and infrastructure over the past couple of decades, have achieved significant economic growth, for example, Turkey has multiplied its [forex] income by enacting an open gate policy.” 

He reminded Iran’s considerable potential for tourism growth with having rich tourism attractions in terms of historical sites and natural heritage. 

“The era of oil revenues is coming to an end, and we have to think about alternative industries.” 

With the prosperity of the tourism sector in the short run, there will be a favorable economic development… that removes worries about crude price as well as its buyers’ markets, he explained. 

For the time being, citizens of about 190 countries can obtain visa on arrival at Iran’s international airports with one-month validation.

Iran has launched comprehensive plans to bolster its tourism sector. 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.

AFM/MG

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