Nov 25, 2019, 10:15 AM
Journalist ID: 1006
News Code: 83567778
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Iran attracts more Turkish tourists

Tehran, Nov 25, IRNA – The number of tourists from neighboring Turkey coming to Iran over the past year has increased by 35%, Deputy Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization Vali Teymouri said on Monday.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Turkish Cultural and Tourism Attache' in Tehran Mehmet Tashkyn.

With the rise in the number of Turkish tourists coming to Iran and the realization of 35 percent growth, a serious step has been taken towards achieving the goal of balancing tourism between the two countries, Vali Teymouri said.

Teymouri and Mehmet Tashkyn focused on ways to promote tourism exchanges between the two countries and strengthen bilateral relations.

“Over the past year, the number of tourists arriving from Turkey to Iran has increased significantly compared to the previous year and has experienced a 35% growth compared to the same period last year,” Teymouri said.

The deputy tourism minister pointed out that there is a need for increased interaction and commuting between the relevant government officials in order to enhance tourism relations between the two countries, in addition to the more private sector relations between the two countries.

The Joint Tourism Meeting in cooperation between the private and public sectors of the two sides, before the end of this year, may provide the necessary platform for enhancing the intended communications.

*** Iran’s tourism booming despite US sanctions

Foreign tourist arrivals in Iran have grown exponentially in the last one year, according to tourism officials and travel agents, which is good news for the tourism industry; even though hotel rates have dropped drastically and traveling costs have reduced.

According to the latest study by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Iran's travel and tourism sector grew by 1.9 percent in 2018 to contribute 1,158 trillion rials ($8.83 billion) or 6.5 percent of overall GDP and 1,334 jobs (5.4 percent of total employment) to the country’s economy.

The report also stated that foreign visitors coming to Iran splurged 168,954 billion rials ($1.28 billion) in 2018 and projected foreign arrivals to be 6.5 million in 2019.

Another report by the Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Organization (CHTO) of Iran also showed that the number of foreign arrivals in Iran surged by 40.66 percent during spring this year compared to the same period last year.

*** Train from Iran to Turkey; opportunity to boost tourism

Iran and Turkey have set a $30-billion annual trade target, signing several agreements to enhance economic cooperation in various fields and Turkey is one of Iran’s major trading partners in the region which has come under pressure from Washington to stop working with Tehran under a fresh wave of US sanctions.

Tehran-Ankara passenger train services were halted in 2015 following an explosion triggered by terrorists and None of the 180 passengers was injured in the incident, but a wagon was damaged.

Afterwards, Direct train between the capitals of Iran and Turkey resumed services on Wednesday night (August 8, 2019)  with a passenger train leaving Tehran for Ankara in a 60-hour trip.

The head of Islamic Republic of Iran Railways (known as RAI) on  Sept 25, 2019, expressed the hope that Tehran-Istanbul train would resume service by the end of this Iranian calendar year (March 19th, 2020).

A few weeks after Iranian and Turkish authorities finalized plan to launch train services between the two countries, a passenger train bound for Ankara left Tehran on Wednesday night (August, 8 , 2019).

The once-weekly train will have a stopover in Iran’s northwestern city of Tabriz before crossing the border, Passengers will have to get off the Iranian train at a railway station and pier on the eastern shore of Lake Van in Turkey, cross the lake on a ferry, and board a Turkish train on the other side of the lake to go to Ankara,  It takes around 60 hours for Tehran-Ankara train to reach its destination.


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