Touristic province seeks to lure World Cup visitors

February 8, 2022 - 20:34

TEHRAN – Fars, one of the touristic Iranian provinces, plans to attract international travelers who would attend the 2022 World Cup in neighboring Qatar.

“We have formulated travel packages that concern diverse cultural and historical destinations, medical tourism with a strong focus on travel competitiveness,” the governor-general of the southern province said on Tuesday.

“To achieve the goal, we should join hands to the private sector, in particular businesses those work with Qatari fellows,” Mohammad-Hadi Imanieh said, IRNA reported.

Elsewhere in his remarks, that official steered the need for the increase of air traffic during the event, which is scheduled to take place in the Persian Gulf emirate from November 21 to 18 December 18.

“On the one hand, we have also drafted plans to increase flights between Shiraz and Doha during the World Cup…. On the other hand,  we have arranged meetings with certain merchants, hoteliers, and travel insiders.”

“About 9 months are left until the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. And this is the first time that we are witnessing these competitions being held inside a neighboring country in West Asia.”

“A unique opportunity to confront Iranophobia” is another goal the Iranian Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts pursues. “The World Cup will be a significant opportunity to represent the true face of Iran by efforts to dwindle the so-called anti-Iranian sentiments,” the deputy tourism minister has said.

“Qatar’s World Cup offers a unique opportunity to introduce destinations near the host country, and we should take advantage of this opportunity to confront Iranophobia”, Ali-Asghar Shalbafian said in December. “To make good use of this occasion, it is necessary to develop consensus among the relevant agencies, and if this does not occur, it will be detrimental to the country,” the official added.

Experts say that even before the coronavirus 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.

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.

Moreover, 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. 


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