South Korean tourists visit Iran to revive Maritime Silk Road

Business Materials 24 October 2014 12:09 (UTC +04:00)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.24

By Fatih Karimov - Trend:

A ship carrying 20 South Korean tourists docked at Iran's Bandar Abbas Port as part of a program to revive the Maritime Silk Road, Iran's IRNA news agency reported on October 23.

The South Korean tourists had passed through China, India, Malaysia, and Indonesia to reach Bandar Abbas as their final destination.

They will visit the cities of Shiraz and Isfahan during their stay in the country.

Also, some 750 tourists from Europe will arrive in Tehran via six luxury trains in 2015, Iran's Shahrkhabar website reported on October 21.

Ebrahim Pourfaraj, the director of the Iranian tour operators union, said the first European luxury train will enter Iran on October 23, and 750 more will arrive in 2015 via six luxury trains.

Iranian Vice-President and head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Masoud Soltanifar said on Oct. 18 that thriving industry could help boost Iran's economy out of recession and bring in much-needed hard currency.

He said 4.5 million of foreign tourists that came to the Islamic Republic over the period, brought in some $6 billion in revenue.

He attributed the increase to the 2013 election of President Hassan Rouhani, who has advocated for tourism, hoping it will help improve the country's image.

"The new government has employed a proper language in international relations, leading to growth in tourism," Soltanifar said, adding that foreign tourists, most of whom are from neighboring countries, spend about $1,500 each in Iran.

The number of foreigners visiting Iran jumped dramatically over the 12-month period ending in March, with 35 percent more tourists compared to the same period a year earlier.