I love Iranians, their unique culture: Ecuador’s ambassador

February 17, 2020 - 19:57

TEHRAN - German Alejandro Ortega Almeida, Ecuador’s ambassador to Tehran, has said he loves Iranians and their unique culture after three years of stay in the country and visiting places at its every corner.

“It is three years that I live in Iran as an ambassador. Iran is amazing. I love Iran and its unique culture, a country with a 2500 years of [written] history and culture. [It] treats international tourists very well,” the envoy told CHTN in an interview released on Sunday. 

He underlined that people of Ecuador know Iran based on what depicted in the news [usually] by Western media. 

“We are in American continent and people know other countries according to the news they read, but if they travel to Iran they will understand some of the news are not true and Iran is rich with culture.”

“I think Iran should work more on its tourist attractions and promote them. You [Iranians] know them all because you are here but people outside like in my country, are more in touch with Western media,” he stated.

The ambassador made the remarks during a visit to the 13th Tehran International Tourism Exhibition, which was opened to the public concurrent with the 33rd National Handicrafts Exhibition at the Tehran Permanent International Fairground.

Answering a question on how many Iranian cities (towns or villages) he has visited so far, the envoy said, “I’ve visited many cities including ones in Lorestan, Kermanshah, Isfahan and Fars.”

“During these trips I’ve seen many different traditions and cultures. I think I have so far visited Iran as much as a [typical] Iranian [does].”

He also referred to the long distance and the high transport charges as main barriers to exchange travelers between the two countries.

“Long distance and high transport charges reduce tourist numbers, but if there will be some combined tours with other countries it will rise the chance.”

Anti-Iranian sentiment doomed to fail 

Last November, Iran’s deputy tourism minister Vali Teymouri said “anti-Iranian sentiment or Iranophobia, which has long been forged and spread by some Western governments and media, has not prevented foreign travelers from visiting the country.”

He pointed out that the biggest tourism challenge that Iran faces is that it is still somewhat “unknown” for many potential travelers.

“I, as an expert, who have been working in the field of tourism for the past twenty years, believe that the main challenge of our travel industry is that Iran is internationally unknown. Moreover, over the past years, an Iranophobia project [orchestrated] by our enemies have been added too.”

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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