Iran seeking to attract millions of Chinese travelers, ex-envoy says

July 21, 2020 - 23:34

TEHRAN - Tehran’s ex-ambassador to Beijing has said Iran is seeking to become a tourist destination for millions of potential travelers from China as the two countries are working on a 25-year comprehensive cooperation plan that includes boosting relations in the field of tourism. 

Speaking in the TV program, Mehdi Safari said that the plan covers a wide range of issues such as energy, industry and mining, tourism, health, environment, security, and defense, Mehr reported on Monday.

Pointing to the fact that some 200 million Chinese tourists visit different countries annually, he said “according to this agreement Iran will become one of the tourist destinations for Chinese travelers so that Iran can attract one to two million Chinese tourists to the country.”

“This will create a transformation in Iran’s tourism industry and will create jobs and a large market for the handicrafts industry of the country,” he added.

Last year, the Islamic Republic waived the visa requirement for Chinese nationals willing to visit the country. The decision was made to attract more foreign tourists to the country; however, it was a unilateral measure, because Iranian tourists visiting China still need visas.

The latest available data show eight million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 20). The country expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 24 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, it aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

AFM/MG

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