Iran Aims to Attract 100K Russian Travelers by 2023

Iran Aims to Attract 100K Russian Travelers by 2023
Iran Aims to Attract 100K Russian Travelers by 2023

Iran is planning to attract 100,000 Russian tourists by 2023, with the help of the recently implemented visa waiver for group tours.
Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ali Asghar Mounesan and Doguzova Zarina Valeriyevna, the head of Russia's Deferral Tourism Agency, signed the agreement on waiving visa requirement for group tours in Moscow on Monday, based on which tourist groups having five to 50 people are not required to apply for a visa, CHTH reported.
The plan starts at 2021 and is valid until 2023.
The first phase of the visa waiver plan, calling for mutual relaxation of visa procedures for people active in trade, science and tourism sectors, went into effect in February 2016, ISNA reported.
The implementation of total visa-free travel is the third and final phase of the scheme.
The agreement also includes plans for expanding ties between the tourism authorities of the two countries. Both sides are required to observe the impacts of the measure and discuss related issues in periodic meetings.
Iranian officials are optimistic about the impact of agreeing to a visa waiver scheme with Russia. The neighboring country is among the main target markets for attracting foreign travelers.
As per the figures, 32,415 Russian nationals traveled to Iran in the fiscal 2018-19. The number grew by 12% to 36,195 in the fiscal 2019-20.
The number fell to nearly zero travelers in 2020-21, mostly because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The measure could raise hopes for recovering losses incurred during the pandemic.
"Our target is to attract 100,000 Russian during the three years of waiver plan," says Leila Ajdari, the head of the ministry's Office for Foreign Travel Market Development.
"We also expect at least 15% growth in the number of Russian visitors after 2023."
Iran’s share of Russia’s whopping 45-million outbound travel market is a meager 32,000 people, while in 2018, Turkey attracted around 5.9 million Russians, making the latter the largest contributor to Turkey’s tourism sector.
Iran is said to be one of the top 20 tourism source markets for Moscow.
Russian officials had announced earlier that they were taking measures to simplify the visa system for other categories of citizens, including entrepreneurs. The possibility of issuing multiple-entry visas to heavy truck drivers is also being discussed.
Iran has mutually abolished the visa regime with Georgia and Armenia, and is currently targeting Germany, Turkey and China.
The two countries plan to expand ties in a range of fields.
Iran exported $800 million worth of commodities to Russia in 2020 to register a 105% increase compared with 2019.

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