Azerbaijan willing to receive more tourists from Iran

December 6, 2019 - 18:49

TEHRAN – The Republic of Azerbaijan intends to receive more arrivals from Iran so as to attain a balance in tourist exchange rate between the two neighbors.

Azerbaijan is not satisfied with the unbalanced tourism exchange rate between the two countries. Over the past year, about 1.5 million Azerbaijani citizens traveled to Iran, while [some] 241,000 Iranians visited that country,” ISNA quoted Fuad Nagiyev, the head of the State Tourism Agency of Azerbaijan, as saying on Wednesday.

Nagiyev made the remarks in a meeting with the head of the Association of Iranian Travel Agencies Hormatollah Rafiei. A number of administrative officials and tour operators from the two sides also attended the meeting.

As a solution, the Iranian side suggested the Republic of Azerbaijan to waive visa requirements for Iranian travelers, the report said.

Iran abolished visa requirements for nationals of the Republic of Azerbaijan three years ago, while Iranian citizens still have to obtain visas to visit the country. Azerbaijan’s visa fees cost $26 for an airport visa, $24 for an electronic one, and $51 for an instant visa, according to the report.

“The Republic of Azerbaijan is willing to increase the number of Iranians traveling to Azerbaijan, as Iran is a friend and brother country, and it is of great importance for our country to develop relations in tourism and trade with it,” Nagiyev noted.

Rafiei for his part said, “On one hand, airports of the country [Azerbaijan] receive 50 euros as the [arrival] fee, which is calculated on the flight ticket price and makes it expensive. On the other, every Iranian citizen has to pay 26 dollars to obtain a visa from the Republic of Azerbaijan. These increase the cost of traveling to this country.”

Therefore, it is requested that the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan revoke the visa [requirements for Iranian nationals], Rafiei added.

Iran welcomed some four million foreign nationals during the first five months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21 – August 22), which shows 30 percent hike, compared with the same period last year, according to official data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts. 

The Islamic Republic attracted 7.8 million foreign travelers during the last Iranian year, which shows 50 percent growth year on year, the ministry announced earlier in September. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, the country aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

The country 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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