TEHRAN, Iran – An Iranian tourism official announced that Iran and Iraq will take certain measures to facilitate the travel of Iraqi tourists to the Islamic Republic.
Morteza Rahmani Movahed, the tourism deputy of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), said that a directive to organize religious tourists’ visits, with a particular focus on Iraqi tourists and pilgrims, is being implemented.
The directive was finalized earlier this year, and the two sides made the arrangements to start the operational phase in their own offices, he added.
Iraqi Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Adel Fahad al-Sharshab arrived in Iran on Friday at the invitation of ICHHTO Head Massoud Soltanifar.
The final stage of the directive will be operationalized in a meeting with the Iraqi minister, Rahmani Movahed said, adding that Iranian and Iraqi technical committees of tourism and cultural heritage have started their activities upon Sharshab’s trip.
“The main focus of the directive is on organizing Iraqi tourists’ trips within the framework of group tours,” he added, announcing that the plan is interesting to both Iran and Iraq.
Iran has attached considerable significance to developing its tourism industry in recent years.
The country is seen as one of the world’s top potential tourist destinations as it holds countless ancient sites.
It hosts Asia’s 4th and the Middle East’s 1st largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Iran is home to 17 historic sites which have been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List.
It has a diverse landscape and its tourism industry offers a myriad of recreational opportunities.
They range from hot mineral water showers in the northwest to hiking and skiing in the Alborz mountains to magnificent architectural sight-seeing in the center and beach holidays in the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea.
Apart from its glorious ancient sites, the country’s allure lies in its people’s reputation for hospitality.