May 13, 2019, 3:37 PM
News Code: 83313046
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Ramadan; opportunity to attract Muslim tourists to Iran

Tehran, May 13, IRNA ––The holy month of Ramadan has proven a good opportunity for the tourism industry in many Muslim countries. However, in Iran, it is experiencing a significant drop in travel which means proper plans have to be made to fully use the tourism capacities of this month to attract Muslims from across the world.

Everyday lifestyle routine of people in Iran as an Islamic country and one of the most populated Muslim countries in the region undergoes significant changes during the holy month of Ramadan.

Changing working hours during week days in offices and stores, rising market for certain baking and drinking items, and the selling of special sweet and candies this month, such as Zulbia and Bamaia (a special kind of sweet made of yogurt which is oil-fried) are among the most tangible changes during the Holy Ramadan.

While the number of trips in Ramadan in Iran drops to its minimum, and many people prefer to stay at home as they are fasting and worshiping God, some Muslim countries such as Turkey and Malaysia have managed to work out special programs during the holy month to attract fasting Muslim tourists.

These leading Muslim countries together with some others which are pioneering in tourism industry have planned some programs to inform their customers in other nations of their traditions with the objective of attracting Muslim and Non-Muslim tourists.

Indonesia, as one of Halal tourism destinations, promotes travel packages for Ramadan featuring Seheri and Iftar events and introducing its customs and holy places in the country.

Dubai is one of the most important tourist destinations throughout the year, but this city is more attractive than ever in Ramadan.

In addition to the tourism amenities offered in Dubai, tourists in Ramadan can attend events organized by the local government, These events are aimed for educating and reminding the meaning and significance of this holy month to the public.

In Russia too, more than 25 million Muslim Shiites and Sunni and thousands of immigrants from different Islamic countries, especially in Central Asia, commemorate Ramadan, consider communal prayers in one of seven thousand mosques, as well as, Iftar is held in a public place that spreads to many of these places every night.

Some countries have also started Ramadan festivals that start from Iftar and continues with the reception of Ramadan tourists and launch various festivals, including shopping and entertainment festivals until Sehri time (Dawn).

Unfortunately, in Iran, despite the provision of the infrustructures for receiving tourists in the month of Ramadan, the ethnic and traditional diversity of the Ramadan among the Iranian tribes and the existence of religious sites and pilgrimages have been understimated, and the capacities of tourism industry are not exploited to its fullest degree. Experts believe this trend has to be accelerated.

Nowadays, when many Muslim countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Egypt and Turkey are making extensive plans to receive Muslim tourists during the holy month of Ramadan, it is becoming for other Islamic countries as well to look up at them as role modles to maximize their tourist attraction this month.

*** Iran tourism destinations, opportunity to attract Muslim tourists
Major tourist destinations such as Tehran, Tabriz, Isfahan and Shiraz, as well as religious tourism cities such as Mashhad and Qom, and the northern and southern cities of the country, can be prioritized, provided they have the necessary standards in this regard, said an Iranian expert in Tourism Industry, Reza Sharifian, in an interview with IRNA.

Sharifian believed that by offering balanced prices of air tickets and trains, lowering tourist facility charges, including hotels and goods, introducing tourism packages which could include religious site, pilgrimage spots and historical places in the form of one-day tours in the city or night trips, Iran could absorb Muslim tourists.

He said the implementation of religious tours at the provincial level and the establishment of the traditional music festival can provide good grounds for attracting tens of thousands of domestic and foreign tourists'

*** Envoy: Indonesia keen on reinforcing ties with Iran
Indonesia Ambassador to Tehran Octavino Alimudin in aninterview with IRNA said that his country honors commitment to implement the agreements already signed with Iran to reinforce relations.

Commenting on the new Indonesian president's eagerness to promote tourism cooperation with Iran, Alimudin said, 'with regard to tourism we have the MoU on tourism and we are trying to revise it so we hope that we would finalize the revise MoU on tourism cooperation.'

He suggested vice-president and head of the ICHTO (Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran) Ali Asghar Munesan to meet the minister of tourism of Indonesia and sign MoU, saying 'we are very optimistic that the contact between the tourism sector and agencies may also increase.'

He raised the issue of setting up direct flights to Indonesia, saying, 'now we are trying to do our best to connect the Iranian airlines which fly to Kuala Lumpur they could have a short stay in Kuala Lumpur before they go to Jakarta, Indonesia.'

'We also invite the Iranian authorities especially in tourism sector to discuss some possibilities,' he noted.

Describing Indonesia as number one country as regard Halal tourism, he offered developing ties with Iran in this field.

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