TEHRAN — A group of 15 Russian travel specialists recently arrived in Iran for a five-day familiarization tour, CHTN reported Wednesday.
The group, which entered the Islamic Republic on Tuesday, is expected to visit travel destinations in Tehran, Isfahan and Fars provinces, the report added.
They will visit the Nasir al-Molk Mosque, commonly known as “the Pink Mosque”, the Citadel of Karim Khan (locally known as Arg-e Karim Khan), UNESCO-designated Pasargadae, the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, the Ali Qapu palace and some other tourist attractions. .
One of the main aims of the tour is to showcase and promote the country’s tourism potential in the post-coronavirus era.
One of the main programs of the foreign tourism marketing section of the Ministry of Tourism is to organize familiarization tours in the countries of the target tourist market in order to give their inhabitants the opportunity to visit and familiarize themselves with the capabilities tourist of Iran.
Average international travel to and from Iran fell by 80% in Iranian calendar year 1399 (ending March 20, 2021) compared to the previous year due to various travel restrictions. coronavirus.
Optimistic forecasts predict that the country will experience a tourism boom after the coronavirus comes under control, believing that its impact would be temporary and short-lived for a country that ranked as the third fastest growing tourist destination in 2019. .
Last March, the head of Iran’s tour operators, Ebrahim Pourfaraj, said Iran’s low prices gave it a competitive edge in attracting foreign tourists.
“By offering travel packages at a lower cost than other neighboring countries, Iran can remain competitive in the global tourism market and become a preferred destination for foreign tourists.”
Many people are now looking for the best travel conditions and lowest prices as the global economy is in turmoil due to the coronavirus outbreak and many people have lost their jobs, the expert added.
Iran is now in a prime position to capture part of the region’s tourism market with reasonable offers, he noted.
“As there have been no entry tours during the pandemic, and given that tourist visas have been issued for a few months now, we have just started our negotiations with foreign tour operators.”
Last November, the official said that restoring tourist flow to the country was very important for Iranian tour operators and travel insiders.
Additionally, Pourfaraj said the Islamic Republic needs to rebuild trust with the global tourism market, referring to the high levels of health security and vaccination the country has achieved against the coronavirus.
He said some of his colleagues have started talks in various fields of tourism with the target markets of China, Japan, Russia and some European countries.
As Pourfaraj mentioned, Iran has done its best to maintain contact with global tourism markets and companies that have worked with Iran in the past, especially as communication and virtual meetings have thrived.
Some experts believe that Iran is still somehow “unknown” to many would-be travelers due to the Western “media war”. Several estimates have been published so far on the scale of tourism-related losses suffered by the pandemic.
According to data compiled by the Ministry of Tourism, the country’s tourism was growing before the corona outbreak, its revenue reached $11.7 billion in 2019, which accounted for 2.8% of GDP, approaching the average share of tourism in world GDP, which was 3.2%. Some 8.7 million foreign nationals visited Iran in 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.
Iran is potentially a booming destination for travelers seeking cultural attractions, breathtaking scenery, and numerous UNESCO-listed sites.
The Islamic Republic expects to benefit from its many tourist sites such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, public baths, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers and mansions, of which 26 are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Under the Tourism Vision 2025 plan, Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.