Iran, China tourism relations to be facilitated, deputy minister says

April 14, 2023 - 17:58

TEHRAN – Tourism relations between Iran and China are to be strengthened and facilitated by the governments of both countries, the deputy tourism minister has said.

In addition to their many similarities, the people of Iran and China have a long history of relations dating back 2500 years, Ali-Asghar Shalbafian said on Tuesday.

They have been in touch since ancient times, as the Silk Road has served as a symbol of cooperation between the two countries, and now, the governments of the two countries are attempting to strengthen their relations, he added.

Shalbafian made the remarks in a meeting with a number of Chinese travel insiders, who are in the country on a fam tour.

As part of its efforts to increase the number of tourists from China, the Iranian government has always been concerned with facilitating the entry of tourists, he noted.

In this regard, the Iranian government has voluntarily exempted Chinese tourists from visa requirements, he mentioned.

Now there are many direct flights available to and from China, he added.

Home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 7000 BC, Iran seeks to attract more foreign travelers, and in particular, vacationers from China.

In 2020, Tehran’s ex-ambassador to Beijing said Iran was seeking to become a tourist destination for millions of potential travelers from China as the two countries are working on a 25-year comprehensive cooperation plan that includes boosting relations in the field of tourism.

Speaking in the TV program, Mehdi Safari reminded some 200 million Chinese tourists to visit different countries annually, adding “According to this agreement Iran will become one of the tourist destinations for Chinese travelers so that Iran can attract one to two million Chinese tourists to the country.”

“This will create a transformation in Iran’s tourism industry and will create jobs and a large market for the handicrafts industry of the country,” he expanded.

Although the Islamic Republic waived the visa requirement for Chinese nationals willing to visit the country in 2019, it was a unilateral measure, because Iranian tourists visiting China still need visas.

Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran is expecting to increase the number of tourism arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million by 2025.



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