People, Travel

Bill Proposes ICHHTO’s Conversion Into Ministry

Bill Proposes ICHHTO’s Conversion Into MinistryBill Proposes ICHHTO’s Conversion Into Ministry

The general principles of the bill on converting Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization into a ministry have been approved by Majlis Joint Commission on Monday.

Three expert committees on cultural heritage, handicrafts and tourism affairs will be formed to review the details of the proposal.

According to Morteza Shokouhi, the head of legal and parliamentary affairs at ICHHTO, the bill will be discussed in the parliament’s open session for final approval after modifications are made by the joint commission. The commission comprises representatives from the social, cultural, plan and budget, and industries and mine commissions.

Critics have argued that any such decision will temporarily halt tourism plans, holding back progress for a very long time.

However, officials believe that most developed countries with a strong travel market have a tourism ministry, which shows that elevating ICHHTO’s status can be a good thing.

Observers say that by turning the organization into a ministry, the public will start paying more attention to its actions, which in turn will put pressure on officials to deliver.

Iran’s 20-year Vision Plan targets 20 million tourists annually by 2025. However, only 5.5 million people traveled to the country last year. That is, however, more than double the 2.5 million people who visited Iran in 2012.

The government argues that it received an economy in ruins and a battered tourism industry from the previous administration, stressing that the industry has been registering double-digit growth every year since 2013.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints