Gov't Prioritizes Tourism Development to Spur Economy

Gov't Prioritizes Tourism Development to Spur EconomyGov't Prioritizes Tourism Development to Spur Economy

President Hassan Rouhani said developing the tourism sector figures high on his government's agenda as it is considered critical to his plans for reviving the ailing economy, particularly by helping tackle high unemployment.

"A way to boost employment, thereby improving public welfare and self-reliance in production and raising Iran's status in the region and the world to the level the Iranian nation deserves, is through the development of tourism industry," the president said during a ceremony in Tehran on Monday to commemorate World Tourism Day (Sept. 27).

Rouhani highlighted job creation and attraction of foreign investment and technology as among the government's top priorities, the president's official website reported.

"As tourism is a multifaceted sector, it can be exploited as an effective means of generating employment for the youth," he said.

"The tourism industry offers an opportunity to draw investment and obtain [modern] technology."

Rouhani, however, said the intended boom in the national tourism sector hinges heavily on public contribution and an active foreign policy.

"A tourist is attracted to destination countries that receive them with open arms and boast high cultural tolerance … Those who have visited Iran have consistently mentioned hospitality and good manners as among Iranians' notable attributes, which are to be further promoted in the society," he said.

The president also said an effective diplomacy adopted by his government to expand Iran's international relations helped counter anti-Iran propaganda spread by hostile governments that had, among other things, crippled the domestic tourism market.

"A government's foreign policy and the depth of its interaction with other countries determine how successfully it will attract overseas visitors. If our country pursued a poor foreign policy that fails to thwart the Iranophobia plot, we would definitely fail in our efforts to bring in visitors," he said.

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"Today, Iran has projected a totally different international image of itself from that of a few years ago. It has been a JCPOA outcome that the Iranophobia plot has been defeated," he noted.

He was using an acronym that stands for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the formal title of last year's nuclear deal with major powers.

Rouhani championed the action plan, which went into force early this year to curb Iran's nuclear program in return for giving it a cleared path back to the global markets through lifting sanctions.

The pact emerged from two years of negotiations with world powers intended to settle more than 12 years of dispute over Tehran's nuclear activities.

"By negotiating the action plan, we refuted the claims about alleged threats from Iran, its peaceful [nuclear] technology and defense capabilities," Rouhani said.