Virtual tours of Iran available for foreign tourists

June 10, 2020 - 20:0

TEHRAN – An Iranian travel agency is offering virtual tours of some distinguished historical places across the country for foreign tourists as the country’s tourism, like many other countries, has gone into partial or complete lockdown over the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Some of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Imam Square, best known as Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. in Isfahan, Persepolis in Shiraz, Golestan Palace in Tehran, and historical city of Yazd can be visited online, travel agency manager Mehdi Eshraqi said on Wednesday, ISNA reported.

Interactive virtual tours of Iranian cooking are also organized for foreign food lovers, which are held in English language, he added. 

He also noted that each tour will cost about 14 euros, which is affordable compared to similar tours around the globe. 

Iran has suffered an average 15.8 percent fall in foreign arrivals during the first three months of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to data released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) that analyzes impact of the Covid-19 on international tourism.

However, Iran’s tourism ministry has forecast that the country will start hosting foreign travelers as of mid-summer with the priority given to travelers from the neighboring countries.

Iran’s tourism suffered several times over the past Persian year (ended March 20) from various upheavals including the U.S. sanctions aimed to cripple Iran’s economy, flash floods in March 2019, the [mistakenly] downing of a Ukrainian jetliner in January, and ultimately the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The ancient land embraces 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. 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.


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