Iraqi travel insiders visit Golestan, discuss ways to deepen ties

December 4, 2021 - 18:38

TEHRAN – On Thursday a panel of Iraqi tour operators arrived in Gorgan, the capital of Golestan province, to exchange views with local officials on deepening tourism ties. 

Golestan considers Iraq as one of its target countries for its tourism development, the provincial tourism chief Ahmad Tajari said during the meeting with Iraqi visitors, CHTN reported.

He also expressed hope that by holding specialized meetings and signing bilateral agreements between the tourism agencies of Golestan and Iraq, the tourism between the two regions will grow and prosper.

Reminding the key role of direct flights, one of the Iraqi visitors said that direct flights between Iraq and Iran would benefit the growth of tourism in both countries.

The Iraqi expert also noted that the issuance of land visas has an immediate effect on the growth of tourism between Iraq and Iran.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Tajari noted the organization of fam tours for Iraqi travel marketers is a sign of Iran’s determination to boost its tourism relationship with the neighboring country, the official added.

Back in November, 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).

Golestan is reportedly embracing some 2,500 historical and natural sites, with UNESCO-registered Gonbad-e Qabus – a one-millennium-old brick tower – amongst its most famous. Narratives say the tower has influenced various subsequent designers of tomb towers and other cylindrical commemorative structures both in the region and beyond. The UNESCO comments that the tower bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran.

ABU/AFM 

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