People, Travel

Isfahan-St. Petersburg Agreement Disused

Isfahan-St. Petersburg Agreement DisusedIsfahan-St. Petersburg Agreement Disused

Isfahan and the Russian city of St. Petersburg have failed to take advantage of their status as twin cities, according to Mehdi Narimani, chief executive of Isfahan Province’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Society.

In a meeting with a Russian tourism delegation in Isfahan, Narimani recalled his recent visit to St. Petersburg’s Imperial Gardens of Russia Festival (June 5-14) and said, “All I saw was untapped potential,” Tasnim News Agency reported.

He said the purpose of Iran’s participation in the festival was to introduce Iranian tourism to the people of Russia and help promote Iranian art and culture, “particularly in Isfahan.”

Citing benefits to both cities’ economy, Narimani urged St. Petersburg’s tourism and cultural officials who attended the meeting to advertise Isfahan as a holiday destination, a move which will be reciprocated by Isfahan officials.

Denouncing western media’s smear campaign against Iran, he said, “It is essential to paint a realistic picture of Iran.”

Outlining measures by his society, Narimani said there are plans to produce promotional videos in various languages, including Russian, to market Isfahan’s tourism potential and introduce its vast attractions and world famous historical sites.

Arguably Iran’s most popular tourist destination, Isfahan attracts millions of domestic and foreign travelers every year. It’s tourism industry has hit a plateau, however, due to a lack of lodging facilities.

In July, it was reported that Isfahan’s four- and five-star hotels have a total of 600 rooms, which are usually fully booked throughout the year.

Isfahan’s Naqsh-e Jahan Square, also known as Imam Square, and Jame’ Mosque are world heritage sites.

In addition to St. Petersburg, Spain’s Barcelona and Florence in Italy are Isfahan’s other twin, or sister, cities.