More than 90% of foreign vacationers satisfied with Iran travel, minister says

December 14, 2021 - 21:15

TEHRAN – Surveys show over 90 percent of foreign tourists who visit Iran are satisfied with their experience, Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ezatollah Zarghami has announced. 

He made the remarks during a meeting with Iranian envoys and diplomats on Monday, ILNA reported. 

Rival countries have been working relentlessly to hinder Iran’s tourism industry’s growth, the minister said.

However, the country’s relative historical, cultural, and natural advantages, as well as its tourist attractions, allow it to capture a significant portion of the overall tourist quota in the region, he added. 

“[An example of] active diplomacy in the world today is tourism discussion, in which the values, capacities, and assets of a country are presented to the people of other countries”, the minister noted. 

Therefore, tourism is expected to become a priority of Iranian ambassadors and representatives to other countries, he explained. 

“Identifying and communicating with agencies and tour operators active in target countries, as well as establishing effective communication with Iran, are among the envoys’ responsibilities,” he mentioned. 

Furthermore, the tourism minister noted that the tourism ministry is working on arranging familiarization tours for foreign media and cultural officials.

Last November, the World Tourism Organization announced that international tourist arrivals to Iran plunged 72% during the first eight months of 2020 compared to 2019, highlighting the severe impact of COVID-19 as the main factor.

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. 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.