Iran to issue instant visa at airports

Iran Materials 20 October 2013 11:42 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct.20 / Trend R.Zamanov /

Iran will issue instant visa for the tourists at the country's airports, the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) said on Sunday.

"The move aims at attracting more tourists from all around the world especially the neighbouring countries and the Southeast Asian states like China," the IRNA News Agency quoted Mohammad-Ali Najafi as saying.

Najafi, however, said that the rule does not apply to the citizens of ten countries, including Great Britain, the United States, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Najafi said on October 5 that Iran plans to lift visa requirements for tourists from the neighboring countries, East Asian and the European countries, in particular, in a bid to promote tourism in the country, Fars News Agency reported.

"Visa requirement will be lifted for some countries and will be eased for some other countries," he added.

He referred to China, Malaysia, and Indonesia as main priorities in this regard.

Afshin Azizi, a member of the country's Tour Leaders Society said in July that foreign tourists are more interested in visiting Iran after the June 14 election.

"Currently the requests for visiting Iran has increased by 50 per cent," the ISNA News Agency quoted Azizi as saying.

Tourism accounted for 2.4 per cent of Iran's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2012. The figure can hit 4 per cent by 2022. Iran earned $118,695,000 through tourism in 2012.

Over 3,729,000 foreign tourists visited Iran in the past Iranian calendar year which ended on March 20.The figure shows a 32 per cent increase compared to the previous year.

The foreign tourists were mainly from India, Azerbaijan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.