Iran, Tunisia to expand tourism ties 

July 25, 2020 - 18:14

TEHRAN – Iran and Tunisia have recently signed a memorandum of understating (MOU) to expand tourism ties despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The MOU was inked by Iran’s ambassador to Tunisia Mohammadreza Rauf Sheibani and Tunisian Minister of Tourism Mohamed Ali Toumi, ILNA quoted Iran’s deputy tourism chief Vali Teymouri as saying on Saturday. 

Despite the spread of the coronavirus in the world and restrictions on international tourism communications, tourism ministry tries to achieve its goals of foreign tourism development through the ambassadors and representatives of Iran in the target countries, the official added. 

He also noted that although there are many obstacles to the exchange of official delegations in the field of tourism at the moment, the ministry seeks to strengthen international tourism ties by using various tools in cyberspace and indirect communication. 

The United Nations World Tourism Organization has recently praised efforts made by Iran’s tourism ministry to manage the travel industry during the coronavirus pandemic. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said in a letter to tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan that the country’s measures have truly earned plaudits to mitigate the impact on tourism.

“A series of measures that the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts of Iran has taken, under the guidelines and recommendations of UNWTO, has truly earned plaudits as an effective practice to mitigate the impact on tourism.”

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.

Iran 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. 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).

ABU/MG

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