Political approach of US media toward Iran tourism industry

News ID: 4081745 -
TEHRAN, Sep. 08 (MNA) – An American mainstream media with an political approach hailed Iran's tourism industry achievements.

An American mainstream media confessing the growth of the number of the western tourists visiting Iran, tried to politicize even the tourism industry which can help the people to people relation all over the world.

Data provided by leading travel intelligence analyst showed that there has been a five percent growth in Westerners visiting Iran between September 1, 2016 and September 1, 2017 - and Americans make up 14.5 percent of all Western arrivals, Fox News reported.

“Political change in Iran is making the country more approachable – an attractive place to visit and potentially do business,” said ForwardKeys CEO Olivier Jager. “I expect visitor numbers to increase, so long as Iran’s airport capacity can keep pace.”

There have also been ten new flights per week into Tehran from Europe and the United Kingdom over the past year, making travel smoother and simpler. The total contribution of Travel and Tourism to the country’s GDP in 2016 was 7.7 percent, and it is expected to rise some 4.9 percent in 2017 alone.

Iranian authorities purport to have made more than $8.3 billion in tourism revenue over the past year, an increase of eleven percent over the previous fiscal year, with around 5.5 million foreign travelers setting foot on Iranian soil.

Filled from corner to corner with ancient bazaars, museums, mosques, monuments, gardens and palaces set inside bustling cities, historical ruins and rich rural landscapes, the country is increasingly filled with camera-wielding Westerners seeking adventure, archeology and art.

“Iran is a bright star. The potential is enormous, Iran is likely to become the leading tourism market in the Middle East and North African region, providing the infrastructure is able to develop and cope with changes,” Nikola Kosutic, head of research for the Middle East region at international market research firm Euromonitor, predicted.

Two young students learning to speak English often frequent Yazd's "Alexander's Prison" eager to meet tourists to help them with their language skills. Built in the 15th century, the "prison" has historically been thought of as a dungeon built by Alexander the Great, although that is largely now considered a myth.

Euromonitor’s latest report says that the current Iranian government seeks to encourage international tourism.

Even though the US still has financial sanctions in full force, hotel groups based outside America, such as the French Accor Group, the UAE’s Rotana and Spain’s Melia, have already made their way in.

There also is an additional promotion of “medical tourism,” in which foreigners can undergo relatively cheap elective and non-elective surgery procedures in plush places.

But due to the three-decades-old American-led embargo, Western credit cards don’t work, meaning travelers must bring wads of cash. The caveat is that local foods, teas, Persian poetry books and nomadic carpets are all on the relatively low-cost side. Crime rates remain extremely low, along with very rare instances of terrorist attacks compared with much of the world, and Iranians of all ages and backgrounds are heralded for their hospitality.

Despite threats of retaliation as President Trump slaps more sanctions on Iran as he continues to review the overall Iranian policy and Obama-era nuclear agreement – formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – the country’s foreign ministry has specifically stated that it has not retaliated by rejecting American tourist visa applications.

However, in keeping with long-running protocol, American citizens are not allowed to freely wander through the country and must remain with a state-approved tourism agency guide at all times.

Confessing to all above mentioned issues and positive developments in Iran, in an attempt to distort the image of the Islamic Republic of Iran and to politicize the tourism by baseless repeated accusation, Fox News affiliated to the US military and inteligence service says, "since the government (Iranian government) is heavily involved in tourism and those revenues are fungible, tourism revenue could end up blostering Iran's military threats." A conclusion that makes efforts to affect negatively readers' mentality on Iran's legal defensive missle conventional missle program.

The US imposed unilateral sanctions against Iran in August after saying its testing of ballistic missiles violated the UN resolution that endorsed the 2015 nuclear deal.

The resolution called upon Iran not to undertake activities related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, but stopped short of explicitly barring such activity.

Tehran denies its missile programme breaches the resolution, saying it is designed for defensive purposes.

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