Tourism prevents Iranophobia, experts say

October 1, 2021 - 18:17

TEHRAN – Domestic tourism experts believe that Iranophobia across the world can be mitigated with tourism, IRNA reported on Friday.

Using the power of diplomacy to combat Iranophobia is the main task of the new tourism minister and the government, said Ali Akbar Abdolmaleki who is in charge of tourism affairs at Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (ICCIMA). 

Ezzatollah Zarghami, the new Iranian tourism minister, is well aware of the power of the media, which can show the world the real face of the Islamic Republic, he explained.

It is not possible to wait until the coronavirus outbreak has completely disappeared before starting tourism; it is necessary to deal with the current situation and keep the business going, he added. 

He also noted that Iran’s oil revenue should go to the development of its tourism infrastructure. 

If the proceeds from Iran’s oil sales are used to boost tourism, it is likely to boost the country’s welfare, Mohammadreza Majidi, another expert in this field announced. 

In spite of the fact that tourism is a great source of income, the country has been relying solely on oil revenue for years, he noted. 

Moreover, he believes that tourism could contribute to social justice by channeling income towards deprived areas and less well-known tourist attractions. 

Iran is potentially a booming destination for travelers seeking cultural attractions, breathtaking sceneries, and numerous UNESCO-registered sites. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

Even before the pandemic, Iran’s tourism was already grappling with some challenges, on top of those Western “media propaganda” aimed at scaring potential travelers away from the Islamic Republic. Some experts believe Iran is still somehow “unknown” for many potential travelers due to such a “media war”.

They, however, consider bright prospects for the tourism sector of the country if it vigorously pursues comprehensive strategies to counter U.S.-led propaganda and strict sanctions, yet does its best to loosen tough travel regulations.

ABU/AFM 

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