People, Travel

Iran Eyes Place on Cruise Itineraries

The cruise ship Sunny will soon connect Kish to Chabahar.The cruise ship Sunny will soon connect Kish to Chabahar.

Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization will hold talks with Asia's top cruise tour conductors to include Iran on their itineraries.

According to Kambiz Moshtaq Gohari, the head of ICHHTO office in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, Iran will discuss the issue with tourism ministers of Singapore and Indonesia at the next Asia/Oceania Intergovernmental Ministerial Meeting.

The meeting will be held next year at Iran's suggestion and the location will most probably be the port city of Chabahar in Sistan-Baluchestan, the Persian travel news website Donyayesafar reported.

"We've already had preliminary talks about launching cruise routes linking the islands of Persian Gulf, Sea of Oman and Indian Ocean," he said.

Tourism officials have also proposed offering combined tours for cruise tourists visiting Iran.

"Many passengers have complained that all they see during the trip is sand and gravel, but with combined tours, tourists will travel to mainland Iran and visit cities such as Shiraz, Isfahan and Yazd," Gohari said.

The authorities of Sistan-Baluchestan have held discussions with Kish and Qeshm Free Zone Organizations to expand the route of the cruise "Sunny", which is currently only operating between Kish and Qeshm, to Deylam (in Bushehr), Shahid Bahonar (Hormozgan) and Imam Khomeini (Khuzestan).

"Given the capacities of Chabahar and its access to open waters, the launch of a cruise line between Kish and Chabahar is a priority," he said.

Sunny, the first-ever cruise ship to dock at Kish Island in nearly 40 years, made its maiden voyage in April.

Officials claim Iran’s coastal regions have the potential of attracting 3 million foreign visitors a year.

Over 70% of tourism development plans in the sixth five-year development plan (2017-22) are related to marine tourism.

Although turning coastal cities into marine tourism hubs has ostensibly been a government priority, the sector is only responsible for 1% of national employment and production.


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