Despite the close economic cooperation between Russia and Iran, the latter's tourism market is still unfamiliar to most Russian travelers, the head of Isfahan's tourism department said on Sunday. Instead, travelers go to Turkey and the UAE, the official lamented and said that the country intends to attract tourists in a new way: through the organization of family tours, B2B meetings and forums.
“Iran's tourism market is not well known to Russian citizens. What we need in this area is to provide publicity, information and a proper image of our country,” Alireza Izadi, head of the Department of Historical Heritage of the Iranian province of Isfahan, quoted the Tehran Times as saying on Sunday. The official expressed hope to bridge the gap by organizing family tours, B2B meetings and forums, which will bring together representatives of the tourism industry from the two countries.
According to him, Isfahan, known for its Persian architecture, for its part, will host dozens of Russian travel agents and tour operators in the near future under the FAM Tours program. A few days ago, working groups from the province of Isfahan and their counterparts from St. Petersburg and Moscow studied ways to develop tourism ties. And earlier in September, representatives of the tourism sector and officials from the two countries exchanged views on education, hotel management, joint exhibitions, and the introduction of tours and investments, among other issues. In addition, they discussed the prospects for a possible visa-free regime for tourist groups based on an agreement signed by former Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Vladimir Putin in 2017.
Like Izadi, Ibrahim Pourfaraj, head of the Association of Tour Operators of Iran, believes that most potential Russian travelers are unaware of the huge tourist attractions that are in every corner of Iran. “The fact is that Iran's political and economic relations with Russia are considered good, but this has nothing to do with attracting tourists, because it is directly related to the Russian people. It is the Russian people who should choose Iran as their destination,” he said.
Last year, an Iranian tourism expert pointed out that many Russian travelers would like to go to Iran. “Many (potential) Russian travelers are interested in visiting new and lesser known destinations such as Iran, which can become a safe and attractive destination,” said Mostafa Sarwari, who headed the tourism marketing and advertising office of the Iran Tour Operators Association.
< p>The Islamic Republic looks forward to capitalizing on its many tourist attractions such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, baths, madrasahs, mausoleums, churches, towers and mansions, 26 of which are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
< p>Reference: Iran, which is located in Western Asia at the junction of the Near and Middle East, is washed by the Caspian Sea from the north, like Dagestan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, etc., and from the south by the Persian and Oman Gulfs, like the UAE. The culture of Iran, like Iran itself, is about 2.5 thousand years old and originates from the era of Zoroastrianism. Many ancient objects have been preserved in the country.
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