Camper vans to stage rally between Tehran, Moscow

July 5, 2022 - 18:53

TEHRAN – Experts from Iran and Russia have discussed ways to organize further joint events such as staging a car rally between their capitals.

On Monday, the Touring and Automobile Club of the Islamic Republic of Iran (TACI)  plays host to a delegation of Russian experts to exchange views on tourism cooperation, IRNA reported.

TACI Director Mohammad Hossein Soufi and Tatiana Sharshavitskaya, the deputy chairman of the Moscow Tourism Committee agreed to plan and implement the first rally of camper vans between the country’s capitals.

Holding Iran’s cultural nights in Moscow was among other events discussed in the meeting, the report said.

Soufi’s talk on a previously inked visa-free agreement for tourist groups hinted at a potential momentum for mutual tourism cooperation.

“We would be able to project a wide variety of joint events in case visa-free travels become operational,” Soufi said.

Sharshavitskaya for her part said, by contrasting experiences, joint projects can be implemented, for which this meeting is a beginning and the first step on the way to reaching a common point of view.

Other participants in the meeting were Sergey Baratov, the deputy head of the international relations division of the Department for External Economic & International Relations of Moscow, Orkhan Rezaev, the projects manager of the Moscow Tourism Committee, and Peter Nikitenko, the cultural attaché of the Russian embassy in Iran.

In 2017, former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin inked a visa-free agreement for tourist groups.

Based on the agreement tour groups of 5 to 50 people heading to [easternmost parts of] Russia from Iran or vice versa would be granted a visa-free stay of up to 15 days.

According to Ebrahim Pourfaraj, who presides over the Iranian Tour Operators Association, the majority of potential Russian travelers are unaware of the vast tourist attractions that exist in every corner of Iran. “The fact is that Iran’s political and economic relations with Russia are considered as good, but this has nothing to do with attracting tourists because it is directly connected with the Russian people. It is the Russian people who must choose Iran as their destination,” he explained.

Experts expect Iran to achieve a tourism boom after the coronavirus is contained, believing its impact would be temporary and short-lived for a country that ranked the third fastest-growing tourism destination in 2019.

The Islamic Republic expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 26 are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. 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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