Qatar 2022 World Cup a window of opportunity for Iran tourism, deputy minister says

December 25, 2020 - 17:22

TEHRAN – Iran should take the advantage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which will be hosted by its neighbor Qatar, as an ample opportunity to encourage its tourism sector, deputy tourism minister has said.

“Qatar 2022 World Cup would provide Iran a great opportunity to attract foreign tourists to the country…. it would a [major] venue for introducing tourism capacities as well as the cultural and historical heritage of our country,” Vali Teymouri said on Tuesday.

“The country that is hosting this event is in the neighborhood of Iran and does not have much vastness, so there is a possibility that a large number of people who have traveled to this country to attend the tournament, can go to other tourist destinations on the outskirts, which include our country.”

“Of course, this will require appropriate arrangements and executive activities in the missions of the Islamic Republic of Iran in target countries, embassies, the relevant, and influential cross-sectoral agencies…. , so that a person who has traveled to Qatar will be informed that they can at a [air] distance of half an hour,” he explained.

In a recent interview with the Tehran Times, Teymouri briefed on the impact of coronavirus pandemic on tourism and hospitality sectors of the country, stressing the need to re-analyze target markets, redefine tourism products and improve the level of e-services.

“Defining new standards for e-services to tourists is very necessary due to the change in the general structure of travel during the coexistence with the coronavirus and post-corona world,” the official said.

He also pointed to measures the tourism ministry has so far been adapted such as broadening the support for tourism insiders offering them relief packages including debt deferrals and low-interest, long-term loans.

He called it significant and stressed the need for consensus and exchange of experiences between countries to curb the pandemic. The official underlined that a tight link exists between tourism and employment particularly in local communities.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official attached great importance to sightseeing tours, which could be more beneficial to local communities and their economy. “We need to revise marketing strategies, and to redefine tourism products by paying great attention to nature tours, rural tourism, ecotourism, agricultural tourism as a tool to empower local communities and travel businesses.”

Tourism [industry of Iran] was growing before the corona [outbreak], its revenues reached $11.7 billion in 2019, which accounted for 2.8% of GDP, near the average share of tourism in the world GDP, which was 3.2 percent, according to data compiled by Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.  

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. Rooted in ancient Persian civilization, the nation that has survived numerous alien invasions and natural disasters over its rich history while maintaining its appeal to local and foreign tourists.

AFM/

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