People, Travel

Armenia, a Tourism Target Market

Armenia, a Tourism Target MarketArmenia, a Tourism Target Market

Iranian officials have targeted Armenia as one of the country’s 40 target markets to promote tourism.

Speaking to IRNA in Yerevan, Armenia, on Thursday, Masoud Soltanifar, the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said interest among Armenians is growing to visit Iran.

“In terms of culture, Iran and Armenia are quite close. There’s mutual interest in tourism cooperation,” he said.

Soltanifar, who is also a vice president, said Armenia is one of 40 targeted international markets to promote Iran’s tourism potential.

In June, ICHHTO announced the compilation of a list of target countries based on indices, such as per capita income and number of outbound travelers.

Although the names of the countries were not revealed at the time, experts have pointed to Russia, China and India as potential targets on the list.

“We believe the two states can open a new chapter in bilateral relations,” he said, adding that the easing of investment regulations will persuade Armenian investors to finance tourism projects in Iran.

 Joint Heritage Inscription

Soltanifar said Iran is cooperating with Armenia to prepare the dossier of Yerevan’s Blue Mosque for inscription on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

This is the second joint effort to inscribe a historical site on the coveted list involving Iran. Previously, officials announced the formation of a working group comprising Iranian and Iraqi experts to work on the dossier of Taq Kasra. If inscribed, the site will be registered as a common site of Iran and Iraq.

Soltanifar accompanied First Vice President Es’haq Jahangiri on his two-day visit to Armenia and attended the Blue Mosque’s 250th anniversary.

The Blue Mosque, named after its blue dome, was built in Yerevan in 1764-65.

“The mosque reflects the peaceful coexistence of Armenians and Iranians, and is a symbol of friendship between the two,” Jahangiri was quoted as saying by Armenian press.