Further efforts needed to draw Turkish sightseers, expert says

March 6, 2022 - 21:0

TEHRAN – Iranian travel agencies and tour operators should devote more efforts to attract Turkish travelers, the Head of the Iranian Tour Operators has said.

So far, Turkish officials have been unwilling to introduce Iran’s tourism in their country, while Iranian authorities have not taken any action in this regard either, explained Ebrahim Pourfaraj on the sidelines of the 5th edition of the Travel Expo Ankara, ISNA reported on Sunday. 

Turkish travel insiders have visited Iran several times on fam tours, but their Iranian counterparts have not traveled to Turkey much to promote Iran's tourism, the official added. 

Ankara’s tourism fair, which is attended by 10 Iranian tourism agencies and tour operators, is an opportunity to introduce Iranian tourist attractions to interested parties, he noted. 

Because of the conditions created by the coronavirus outbreak in the Iranian tourism industry over the past two years, it is necessary to work more on new markets that were previously ignored, he mentioned. 

Back in November, the official said that the restoration of tourism flow to the country is very important for Iranian tour operators and travel insiders.

Furthermore, Pourfaraj said that the Islamic Republic must rebuild trust with the global tourism market, referring to the high levels of health security and vaccination that the country has achieved against the coronavirus.  

He said some of his colleagues have commenced talks in various tourism fields with target markets of China, Japan, Russia, and some European countries.

As mentioned by Pourfaraj, Iran has made its best to maintain contact with global tourism markets and companies that worked with Iran in the past, especially since virtual communication and meetings have thrived.

Some experts believe Iran is still somehow “unknown” for many potential travelers due to Western “media war”. Several estimates have been released so far on the extent of the tourism-related losses incurred by the pandemic.

According to the data compiled by the tourism ministry, the tourism of the country was growing before the corona outbreak, its revenues reached $11.7 billion in 2019, which accounted for 2.8% of GDP, nearing the average share of tourism in the world GDP, which was 3.2 percent. Some 8.7 million foreign nationals visited Iran during the Iranian year (1398) and Iran was ranked as the second fastest-growing country in tourism based on data compiled by the World Tourism Organization.

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.

Iran is potentially a booming destination for travelers seeking cultural attractions, breathtaking sceneries, and numerous UNESCO-registered sites. 


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