Iran’s tourism potential immeasurable: Italian scholar

October 1, 2020 - 0:30

TEHRAN – Professor of Iranian studies at the Sapienza University of Rome and former Italian cultural attaché in Tehran Carlo Cereti has said that Iran’s tourism potential is immeasurable.

“Although Italians prefer Iran’s well-known tourist destinations, which have heard their names a lot before, Iran has countless lesser-known tourist attractions, which could be promoted more properly.”

He made the remarks during a webinar organized by the Iranian Culture Center in Rome attended by Iran’s deputy tourism minister Vali Teymouri, Iranian cultural attaché Mohammad Taqi Amini, as well as a number of tourism experts from both countries.

Entitled “Tourism in Iran, Covid-19, Opportunities, and Challenges”, the webinar aimed at evaluating the possibilities of promoting Iran as a tourist destination for Italian travelers during the pandemic.

Cereti also introduced his proposed plan for ecotourism in the western Iranian province of Kermanshah, in which smaller tourism groups will visit lesser-known tourist destinations in the province by spending a longer time than the classic trips to Iran, which could lead them to get acquainted with the region’s cultural heritage.

Teymouri, for his part, expressed hope that with the control and management of the coronavirus, tourism exchanges will resume between the two countries as soon as possible.

Iran hosted some 7.8 million foreign tourists in 2018, which shows 52 percent growth compared to 2017, and the country ranked the world’s second-fastest growing tourist destination, he said.

Despite the outbreak of coronavirus in the last two months of 2019, Iran has attracted 8.8 million foreign tourists with an increase of 11 percent compared to the year before, he added.

He also emphasized that Iran besides having a wide range of historical and natural attractions could be a top destination for health, agriculture, mining, and nomadic tourists.

“I have never seen a single tourist leaving Iran dissatisfied and Iran could be very attractive for Italian tourists,” he concluded.

Back in August, the tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan said that Iran’s travel sector has suffered a loss of 12 trillion rials (some $2.85 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

He also noted that the coronavirus pandemic should not bring traveling to a complete standstill. “Corona is a fact, but can the virus stop tourism? Certainly not. For us, the coronavirus is a new experience in dealing with crises that teaches tourism experts around the world how to deal with such a disaster, and thankfully governments are turning this into an opportunity for better planning.”


ABU/MG

Comments

  • 2020-10-01 20:09
    I'd be the first to go to Iran once things have calmed a bit more ref Covid19.

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