Fars province looks to woo Iraqi nationals with fam tours, direct flights 

December 1, 2021 - 17:30

TEHRAN – The Iraqi tour operators and travel insiders are welcomed to visit Fars on a series of familiarization tours across the southern Iranian province, the deputy provincial tourism chief has announced. 

To attract more foreign tourists including Iraqi nationals, the province is ready to organize a series of familiarization tours for Iraqi tour operators and travel agents, Seyyed Moayyed Mohsennejad said on Tuesday. 

Furthermore, it is necessary to resume the Shiraz-Najaf flights to facilitate the transfer of Iraqi tourists, he added. 

He asked Iranian travel agencies for better promotion of Fars province and Shiraz city in terms of religious, health, natural, and historical dimensions.

A group of Iraqi tour operators and travel agents along with their Iranian fellows are currently visiting the northern province of Golestan to get acquainted with the province’s tourism potential as a travel destination.

The tour highlights the province’s strengths, including its natural, cultural, historical, handcrafts, agricultural tourism, and other assets.

Last week, several Iraqi travel insiders and tour operators requested Iran to waive visa requirements for Iraqi nationals who want to enter the Islamic Republic via land borders.

Earlier this year the two neighbors agreed to abolish visa requirements for air travelers.

The announcement came after Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met in Tehran, discussing various issues including visa waiver, a joint railway project, and increasing the level of trade.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Iraqi constituted Iran’s largest source of tourists. In return, hundreds of thousands of Iranian pilgrims head for the holy Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala each year to attend the Arbaeen pilgrimage, aka the Arbaeen trek, to mark an end to the 40-day mourning period following the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

The ancient region of Fars also spelled Pars, or Persis was the heart of the Achaemenian Empire (550–330 BC), which was founded by Cyrus the Great and had its capital at Pasargadae. Darius I the Great moved the capital to nearby Persepolis in the late 6th or early 5th century BC.

Celebrated as the heartland of Persian culture for over 2000 years, the capital city of Shiraz has become synonymous with education, nightingales, poetry, and crafts skills passed down from generation to generation. It was one of the most important cities in the medieval Islamic world and was the Iranian capital during the Zand dynasty from 1751 to 1794.

Shiraz is home to some of the country’s most magnificent buildings and sights. Increasingly, it draws more and more foreign and domestic sightseers flocking into this provincial capital.

Eram Garden, Afif-Abad Garden, Tomb of Hafez, Tomb of Sa’di, Jameh Mosque of Atigh, and Persepolis are among the historical, cultural, and ancient sites of Shiraz that are of interest to domestic and foreign tourists.

The UNESCO-registered Persepolis, also known as Takht-e Jamshid, whose magnificent ruins rest at the foot of Kuh-e Rahmat (Mountain of Mercy), was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It is situated 60 kilometers northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province.

The ancient city is also home to some magnificent historical gardens such as Bagh-e Narenjestan and Eram Garden, which are top tourism destinations both for domestic and international sightseers.  

UNESCO describes the Persian Garden as an idea that combines natural elements with manmade components to materialize the concept of Eden or Paradise on Earth.

ABU/AFM 
 

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