Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.7/ Trend R.Zamanov
Turkish Airlines planned to transfer 1200 tourists to the Iranian southern city of Shiraz in the first nine months of 2012, the managing director of Turkish Airlines office in South of Iran said on Monday.
"The airlines transferred 400 tourists to Shiraz in the previous year," the ISNA News Agency quoted Mehmet Alagöz as saying.
"We plan to boost the number to 3000 tourists in 2014," he said.
"Turkish Airlines is trying to promote Iran's tourist attractions, especially the historic city ofShiraz to the Turkish people," Alagöz added.
The Head of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism organisation Mohammad Ali Najafi said on October 5 that Iran plans to lift visa requirements for tourists from neighbouring countries,East Asia and European countries in particular, in a bid to promote tourism in the country, the Fars News Agency reported.
Visa requirements will be lifted for some countries and eased for others, he added.
He referred to China as one of the main priorities in this regard, adding that Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia are also of importance.
A look at the number of tourists visiting Iran shows it has increased slightly during the past eight years.
In 2009, some 3.27 million tourists visited Iran. In 2010, the figure hit 3.12 million.
In 2011 and 2012 the figure hit 3.2 million and 3.7 million, respectively.
This means attaining the goal of 20 million tourists in 2020 seems impossible if the current trend continues.