Travel industry set to reflect true image of Iran’s safety, capability

July 12, 2020 - 19:3

TEHRAN – Iran has been taking major efforts to guarantee the safety of foreign travelers and reflect a true image of the country and its capacities in the tourism sector, deputy tourism minister Vali Teymouri said on Saturday.

“Given that the biggest challenge in foreign arrivals is the lack of a true [international] image of Iran and building trust that the country is practicing health protocols to overcome the coronavirus crisis,” CHTN quoted Teymouri as saying on Saturday.

He made the remarks during a meeting with Seyyed Zia Hashemi who has recently been named the Islamic Republic’s new cultural attaché to Sweden by the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization, the report said.

 “The joint goal of the [tourism] ministry and the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization is to reduce the Iranophobia and to reflect a real image of the country and its potentials as a [capable] host for [organizing] safe journeys,” Teymouri noted.

Regarding Sweden, Teymouri said, “This important Scandinavian country with about ten million population, welcomes some seven million inbound passengers per annum and it has plentiful tourism capacities to cooperate, especially in the field of sharing expertise as well as holding joint cultural weeks that led to more mutual understanding.”

Last November, the official noted “I, as an expert, who has 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, our enemies have orchestrated an anti-Iranian sentiment or Iranophobia project.”

While the U.S. State Department has long issued strong advisories against traveling to Iran and despite tensions between the two countries. However, almost all foreign nationals or tour operators previously been in the country believe that Iran has proven to be a safe and remarkably hospitable place for travelers, including Americans.

Early in May, Iran’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, in close cooperation with the Health Ministry, announced new guidelines and instructions to ramp up the safety of travels across the country in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past couple of months, many countries, including the Islamic Republic, imposed travel restrictions to help curb the spread of novel coronavirus. In this line, incoming and outgoing flights have been suspended, and road travels restricted to a great extent. Some experts expect Iran to achieve a tourism boom after coronavirus contained, believing its impact would be temporary and short-lived for a country that ranked the third fastest-growing tourism destination in 2019.

The latest available data show eight million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019).


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