Tehran, Tashkent discuss enhanced tourism, cultural heritage co-op

December 4, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan and Uzbekistan’s ambassador in Tehran Bakhodir Abdullaev exchanged views to strengthen mutual ties in the arenas of tourism, cultural heritage, and handicrafts.

In a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday, Mounesan invited Uzbekistan to attend Tehran International Tourism Exhibition, which is scheduled to be held in February 2020, ILNA reported.

He urged the need for holding various meetings between Iranian and Uzbek travel businesses, saying, “To increase cooperation in the field of tourism, it is necessary to hold face-to-face meetings between Iranian and Uzbek tourism companies, which can take place on the sidelines of the Tehran International Tourism Exhibition.”

“Holding joint museum exhibitions with different countries are on the agenda of this ministry. Given the cultural richness of Iranian museums, we are ready to hold a joint museum exhibit between Iran and Uzbekistan.”

Talking on health and medical tourism, the Iranian minister added that Uzbek health travelers can choose Iran as their destination as it is one of the most advanced countries in this regard and patients can enjoy advantages such as pocket-friendly costs, high quality services, close distance as well as experienced medical staff.

Abdullaev for his part welcomed Mounesan’s proposals, expressing hope to deepen ties in tourism, cultural heritage and handicrafts within the framework of setting up a joint economic committee by the two countries.

“We are interested in using Iranian expertise for restoring monuments, but in this regard an agreement must be signed by authorities of the two countries.”

The Islamic republic hosted a record high of nearly 600,000 medical travelers during the first four months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-July 21), nearly equal to the figure for the whole past year, according to an Iranian association for the health tourism promotion.

Many domestic experts say that medical tourism in Iran produces win-win outcomes as the country yields considerable benefits to international health-care seekers, offering affordable yet quality treatment services. The country has set its goals to exceed its yearly medical travelers to around 2 million in [calendar year] 1404 (March 2025-March 2026).

Back in September, the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Iran first in the world as a pocket-friendly destination. “Iran ranks 1st globally [in the category of Price Competitiveness], thanks to low ticket taxes and airport charges (7th), fuel prices (5th) and high purchasing power (5th).”

The Islamic Republic boasts hundreds of historical sites such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 22 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

AFM/MG

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