Tehran smooths Iraqi travel flow, deputy tourism minister says

January 16, 2022 - 17:48

TEHRAN – Iran has renewed arrangements to facilitate travels for Iraqi nationals, the deputy tourism chief said on Saturday. 

“For Iraqi tourists visiting Iran, a new system has been implemented to ensure their safety and comfort,” IRNA quoted Ali-Asghar Shalbafian as saying on Saturday. 
Under this new system, named "Border to Border", Iraqi tourists are provided with decent and standard tourism services from the moment they cross the land border or fly into the Iranian airport until the end of their journey.

The top priority of the tourism ministry is to make sure that Iraqi tourists who choose Iran for various purposes of treatment, pilgrimage, and tourism can benefit from official services, the official explained. 

Services such as licensed and standard accommodation centers, travel agencies, specialized tour guides, reputable medical centers, and other facilities required for travel could be included, he added. 

In addition to providing desired, decent and standard services to Iraqi tourists and pilgrims, this will organize the arrival and departure of Iraqi tourists at the land border or airport, as well as the businesses and livelihood of Iranian and Iraqi tourism activists, he noted. 

The vast majority of Iraqi travelers only know a few Iranian provinces, so the potential of the many other provinces often goes overlooked, Shalbafian said. 

Environmental advertising in important Iraqi cities, production of joint cultural products, and the introduction and serious presence of Iran on Iraqi TV channels are all necessary to solve this problem, he added. 

Collaboration with the private sector could be used to implement these measures, he concluded. 

In December 2021, a group of Iraqi tour operators and tourism activists along with their Iranian fellows visited several Iranian provinces on familiarization tours. 

Moreover, several Iraqi travel insiders have requested Iran to waive visa requirements for Iraqi nationals who want to enter the Islamic Republic via land borders.

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

The announcement came after Iranian President 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.

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.


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