March 25, 2023

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Intl. tourism rallies could battle Iranophobia, official says

TEHRAN – Tourism rallies could combat Iranophobia, the director of the Touring and Automobile Club of the Islamic Republic of Iran has said.

Iranophobia could be fought by organizing international tourism rallies between Iran and some other countries, including Russia. ISNA quoted Mohammad Hossein Soufi as saying on Monday.

These rallies aim to spot Iran’s development and progress since they are not sporting events, but rather tourist events, he added.

He also noted that the rallies would be in accordance with the rules of the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile).

Long shunned by Western travelers, the Islamic Republic has steadily stepped-up efforts to use tourism, over the past couple of years, to help promote its international image battered by endless opposition mostly from the U.S.

Experts believe 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. They say Iran is still somehow “unknown” to many potential travelers due to such a “media war.”

Before the COVID pandemic, Iran’s tourism had constantly been growing, reaching more than eight million visitors in the Iranian calendar year 1398 (started March 21, 2019). That surge, however, helped prejudices to become thick and thin.

However, Iran’s trump card is that the country benefits from a wide variety of travel destinations ranging from seacoasts and lush green woods to towering mountains and harsh deserts. As a wallet-friendly destination with hospitable people, Iran has long been a desired destination for nature lovers, birdwatchers, powder chasers, culture devotees, pilgrims, museum-goers, foodies, adventurers, and medical travelers, to name a few.


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