September 25, 2023

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Iran proposes visa simplification to spur tourism among D-8 member states

TEHRAN – Iranian tourism minister Ezzatollah Zarghami has proposed to facilitate the issuance of visas or their cancellation in the form of an agreement between D-8 member states to help promote tourism.

In an address to a ministerial meeting of the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation held in Pakistan, Zarghami emphasized the importance of the Islamic feature of the D-8 countries and pointed out the necessity to pay attention to cultural commonalities, including Muslim-friendly tourism as a competitive advantage, accessible tourism, open-door policy, and acceleration of the process of issuing visas, including facilitating and canceling visas.

Inexpensive travel, family-oriented tourism, selection and announcement of the tourism city of D-8, and the creation of an education center were among the important points of his speech, Mehr reported.

Referring to the phenomenon of Islamophobia, Zarghami stated biased propaganda has exposed Islamic countries to racial discrimination, negative prejudice, and defamation.

Besides, Zarghami referred to tourism as the most effective way to remove the false negative image by introducing the true nature of Islamic countries.

Iran saw some 1.4 million tourist arrivals during the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21 – June 21), which shows 43 percent growth year on year.

Iran’s foreign tourist arrivals in 2022 rose 315 percent from a year earlier, as mentioned by the statistics bureau of the World Tourism Organization. The statistics showed around 4.1 million tourists came to the country in 2022 while the Islamic Republic attracted 990,000 tourists in 2021.

The Islamic Republic expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 26 are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.


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