Mounesan named acting tourism minister

August 21, 2019

TEHRAN - In a decree on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani appointed Ali-Asghar Mounesan as the acting tourism minister.

The decision came as the final step for creating a long-awaited ministry for tourism, cultural heritage and handicrafts in the country.

Mounesan who doubles as vice president has been steering the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization since August 2017 when he replaced Zahra Ahmadipour who held the post since November 2016.

Before now, tourism affairs in the country were running by the Organization, whose head is installed by the president and is acted as the vice-president.

Earlier this month, the Guardian Council, which is empowered to vet legislation in the Islamic Republic, gave its approval to form the ministry in a bid to boost the country’s tourism industry.

The bill had already been agreed upon by lawmakers in the parliament (Majlis), but it lately gained the approval of the Guardian Council last year, when lawmakers gave approval to the bill with 137 votes in favor, 41 against and 1 abstention.

The CHHTO was founded in 1985, administered and funded by the Iranian government.

Nearly 7.8 million tourists traveled to Iran in the last fiscal year (ended March 20), showing a 52.5 percent growth compared with the preceding year.

Iran is home to hundreds of historical sites such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, mansions, as well as very changing natural sceneries, and above all, millions of its hospitable people.

AFM/MG

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