U.S. tourists to resume visiting Iran

Business Materials 3 September 2013 11:30 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, September 3 /Trend, N. Umid, S. Isayev

US tourists` visit to Iran would resume after 3 years, CHN news agency reported.

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, an educational organization, has planed to resume tours to Iran, starting with a trip on April 24, 2014, the report said.

According to the report, US tourists would visit Iran's Kerman, Yazd, Shiraz and Isfahan cities during the 20-day trip.

The organization had suspended such tours in 2011 after tensions between Iran and the United States boosted over the imprisonment of three US citizens who had been detained for two years on spying charges, but who were later released that year.

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to informing and engaging people of all ages on matters of national and international significance.

Prior to becoming Iran's next president, Hassan Rouhani, at the televised presidential debates, said that he would want the overall flow of foreign visitors to Iran to increase from annual 4 million to 10 million.

According to Fars news agency, at the current time, Iran shares 1 percent of world's tourism income.

Iran is home to one of the oldest civilisations in the world and its tourist attractions include Persepolis, the capital of the ancient Persian Empire, which dates back to the 6th century BC; Isfahan, home to some of the finest Islamic architecture in the Muslim world; and Shiraz, a city of poets, roses and nightingales.

Some Iranian tourism experts believe authorities' general suspicion of foreigners and a lack of tolerance are the major obstacles preventing Iran from taking a larger slice of international tourism revenue, despite Iran's environmental and historical attractions.

In 2002, Iran's Expediency Council approved the 20-Year Vision Plan to promote the position of the Islamic Republic of Iran at national, regional and international levels. The plan includes attracting some 20 million tourists annually.