Monday, 19 February, 2018

Iran plans to lift visa requirements with 28 countries

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Iran says it is pursuing a plan to lift visa requirements with 28 countries in an effort to help boost the mutual tourism ties with the target countries, Press TV reported.

Masoud Soltanifar, director of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization said that Iran seeks reciprocal visa waiver programs with 28 countries as part of its bid to boost inbound tourism

Speaking to reporters, Soltanifar added his organization has targeted 40 countries to promote Iranian tourism and stressed that it is “exploring diplomatic avenues with 28 of those countries to initiate visa reciprocity”.

Soltanifar added that Iran is also working on a separate plan to promote tourism cooperation with 15 neighboring states.

He further emphasized that official figures show there has been an increase of 12 percent in the number of foreign tourists who have visited Iran over the past two years.

Soltanifar had earlier announced that some five million foreign tourists visited Iran last year, spending at least $7.5 billion.

He had also stressed that Iran will need to attract some 20 million foreign visitors by 2025, an ambitious campaign which is expected to fetch the country at least $30 billion.

Iran has revoked visa requirements for nationals of 7 countries as part of its plans to boost tourism industry in the country. The citizens of Turkey, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bolivia, Egypt and Syria can travel to Iran and stay in the country without visa from 15 to 90 days under the new visa requirement regulations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said the country is ready to offer visa-free travel to citizens of the countries that are willing to engage in reciprocal visa waiver mechanisms with the Islamic Republic.

Iran hosts some of the world’s oldest cultural monuments, including 19 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and its varied terrain ranges from desert locales to ski resorts.

Photo: Golestan province in northern Iran (Credit: Majid Mihan Doost, Irna)

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