Tehran, Athens eye increased tourism ties

January 18, 2020 - 18:45

TEHRAN – Iranian ambassador to Athens Ahmad Naderi and Greek Tourism Minister Haris Theoharis discussed ways to broaden collaboration in tourism sector, IRNA reported.

In a meeting held in the Greece capital on Thursday, Theoharis welcomed the Iranian envoy’s proposal for boosting tourism relations between the two countries, citing the two nations have many cultural commonalities.

“Athens welcomes the development of tourism cooperation with Iran whose rich civilization and culture go thousands of years in time.”

Greece is ready to deepen tourism cooperation with Iran within the framework of existing capacities, the minister noted.

He added the tourism is regarded as an interdisciplinary industry so that its promotion requires extensive cooperation between political, cultural and economic sectors.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Theoharis voiced hope that he would travel to Iran in the near future to pay a visit to the country’s cultural and historical monuments as well as handicrafts, the report said.

The Greek minister explained that his country’s officials are aware of the magnificence of Iran and its pivotal role in the world, adding both Iran and Greece are cradles of civilization.

The Iranian envoy for his part said the two nations should make the best use of such commonalities to expand mutual relations in various arenas, including tourism.

Naderi also emphasized the need to boost historical, traditional and friendly relations between the two nations.

Iran welcomed some 7.8 million foreign nationals last year, achieving 52.5 percent increase year on year. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, Iraq was the main source of tourism for Iran in 2018, constituting 24% of all inbound visitors. Azerbaijan with (17%), Turkey (8%), Pakistan (4%) and Bahrain (2%) constituted other major sources while the remaining 46% came from the rest of the world.

The Islamic Republic expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots, including 22 ones that have been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

AFM/MG

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