‘Iran heritage sites on way to be more tourist-friendly’

Iran is to formulate and develop additional tourist-friendly policies to satisfy the needs and demands of domestic, and international travelers, deputy tourism minister Vali Teymouri told the Tehran Times on Sunday.

“Important historical and cultural [heritage] sites, especially the ones inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, should adopt all-inclusive tourism plans in addition to their conservation and restoration strategies.”

Citing some examples, the official noted: “Authorities of each tourism destination should be able to predict travelers’ demands, their physical and mental needs; for instance, suitable spaces should be determined for taking a break during visits, for [drinking] tea and coffee, taking photographs, buying souvenirs and …..”

“Travel destinations should be equipped with the state-of-the-art amenities and technologies along with proper signs and information boards….,” the official added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official attached great importance to the specialized tourism approach the country is pursuing more than before.

“This specialized tourism approach warns us against mass tourism, which has its disadvantages and shortcomings…. And, in this regard, sightseeing tours could be more beneficial to local communities and their economy.”

“We need to reformulate marketing strategies, redefine tourism products by paying great attention to nature tours, rural tourism, ecotourism, agricultural tourism as a tool to empower local communities and travel businesses.”

He also reminded the tourism industry can effectively follow the goals of sustainable development. “Sustainable development can be fostered when all of us as tourism-service providers are familiar with the principles and approach of sustainable development and fully implement them.”

“I hope Iran’s tourism industry makes steady progress sustainable tourism goals. day by day towards… Now that we are in a crippling coronavirus situation and all tourism industry stakeholders inside and outside the country are using this opportunity to review and renew previous processes.”

“We are also striving to be able to effectively identify weaknesses by reviewing existing policies and programs, and to move towards sustainable tourism with a stronger determination and a more professional view.”

Teymouri also stressed the need to re-analyze target markets, redefine tourism products and improve the level of e-services during the coexistence with the coronavirus and post-corona world.

Iran 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 24 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, it aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025. So it will undeniably try its best to achieve a relatively ambitious goal but when that happens the travel industry is likely to look more altered.

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