After recent talks about a revised nuclear deal, Iran is hoping to encourage tourism ahead of the Fifa World Cup 2022.
Iran is planning to expand its tourism industry in conjunction with Qatar’s 2022 World Cup.
The governor-general of the southern province of Fars, Mohammad Hadi lmanieh said, “we have formulated travel packages that concern diverse cultural and historical destinations, medical tourism with a strong focus on travel competitiveness,” according to Tehran Times.
Shiraz is the provincial capital of Fars and is home to one of the oldest empires—the Achaemenid Empire.
He noted that in order to attain this goal, the relevant tourist divisions should cooperate with the private sector, especially those working with Qatari partners.
He also stressed the need for more flights during Qatar’s biggest sporting event. “We have also drafted plans to increase flights between Shiraz and Doha during the World Cup, and we have arranged meetings with certain merchants, hoteliers, and travel insiders.”
As the World Cup nears, Iran grows more keen to place itself at the forefront of the region’s tourist hub. Hoping to confront ‘Iranophobia’ rhetorics, Iran’s Deputy Tourism Minister, Ali Asghar Shalbafian, raised the importance of tourist engagement and Iran’s exposure to visitors.
The World Cup is a “significant opportunity to represent the true face of Iran by efforts to dwindle the so-called anti-Iranian sentiments,” the Deputy Tourism Minister added.
In an attempt to gain advantage during the World Cup, Shalbafian emphasised the need to develop a “consensus among the relevant agencies, and if this does not occur, it will be detrimental to the country.”
Experts say that tourism in Iran was already plummeting before the outbreak of Covid-19. Analysts say media biases and ‘Iranophobia’ sentiments have also contributed to the lack of tourism and foreign investment.