Tehran , Caracas to Sign MoU on Tourism
IRAN NEWS ECONOMIC DESK
TEHRAN – Iran’s Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts in an online meeting with Venezuelan Minister of Tourism and Foreign Trade Felix Plasencia explored ways to boost cooperation on tourism.
In the meeting, Mounesan pointed to the good relations between Iran and Venezuela, saying that there is a good capacity for boosting relations on tourism which can be reinforced by bilateral efforts.
He then briefed his Venezuelan counterpart of the actions taken in the tourism sector of Iran, adding that some 8.8 million tourists entered Iran last year and the World Travel Agency named Iran the second country in terms of fast growth in attracting foreign tourists, and tourism accounted for $11.8b of Iran’s GDP in 2019.
Mounesan pointed to the 6.8 percent growth in direct and indirect jobs created by tourism and stipulated that Iran expanded its tourism beyond its cultural and historical sites by concentrating on natural, ecotourism and rural tourism capacities and the country by concentration on boosting health tourism attracted a large number of tourists from the region and Europe.
He also pointed to the huge number of villages and ethnics in the country, adding that allocating rural houses for staying of tourists was one of the initiatives that was taken by the ministry and it was welcomed by domestic and foreign tourists.
Mounesan also pointed to the construction of 498 hotels by the private sector with the government support through issuing license or earmarking banking loans, adding that the country has some 2,400 projects in the works in the tourism sector.
He also said that direct flight between Iran and Venezuela is one of the most important potentials for attracting tourists, adding that a population around 400 million are living around Iran which is a good capacity and via the flight both countries can transport tourists.
Mounesan also accepted Plasencia’s suggestion for signing a MoU, adding that the most important problem is that travel agencies of both countries are not acquainted with the tourism capacities of both states. He also suggested to his Venezuelan counterpart to hold some meetings for travel agencies on the sidelines of signing the MoU during the BtoB meeting and called for holding some tours for presenting capacities and tourism attractions of both countries.
He then pointed to Iran’s successful experiences in this regard with Oman and China, adding that in the upcoming days, the ministry in cooperation with Russia will revoke group visa regime, expressing hope Russia will do it so. Mounesan noted that he is sure that with cooperation of ambassadors of both countries in introducing tourism capacities of both states, the tourism between Iran and Venezuela would flourish