People, Travel

Ardebil: Gateway for Foreign Travelers

Ardebil: Gateway for Foreign TravelersArdebil: Gateway for Foreign Travelers

Official data shows that 10% of Iran’s inbound tourists enter the country through the Bileh Savar Border Crossing between Ardebil Province and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

“This provides the province with a great opportunity to capitalize on its tourism potential,” said Gholamali Farmani, an Interior Ministry official.

About 4.77 million international tourists traveled to Iran in the Iranian year 1393 (March 2013-14), with figures for 1394, which ended on March 19, to be announced soon. Nevertheless, it is believed that between five and 5.5 million tourists visited Iran in the last Iranian year.

In order to boost the nascent travel industry, Iranian officials have taken new measures to help attract foreign tourists. Last year, Iran started issuing month-long visas at international airports to citizens of all but 10 countries.

Colombia, Somalia, Britain, Canada, USA, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan have been excluded from the list.

Furthermore, Iran is planning to waive visa requirements for nationals of 28 countries, and is expected to launch the electronic visa application by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2017).