Aussie Travel Agents Promoting “Friendly” Iran

Aussie Travel Agents  Promoting “Friendly” Iran Aussie Travel Agents  Promoting “Friendly” Iran

Iran is gradually making its way back on travel brochures, following the landmark nuclear accord signed earlier this year between Iran and the six major world powers (the US, United Kingdom, France, Russia, China plus Germany).

Even though the Australian government has yet to ease its travel advisory on the Mideast country, tour operators in the Land Down Under have begun promoting Iran as a top holiday destination in 2016.

“Now is the time to go to Iran. The people are friendly and welcoming to westerners, the sights truly mystical and unique, and you see few other travelers, but the destination will soon be discovered,” Phil Asker, founder of Captain’s Choice Tours, told The Australian in an interview available on the publication’s website.

While Iran’s roads need some work, they manage to link the country’s major cities. Furthermore, Iran has an excellent rail system, so getting around is easy.

“While the capital, Tehran, has a backdrop of snow-covered mountains, wonderful museums and the incredible Treasury of National Jewels in the Central Bank, the centers of Shiraz, Persepolis, Isfahan and Yazd are the highlights,” he said.

Shiraz is a garden city, dotted with palaces and a huge labyrinth of marketplaces; nearby Persepolis is a stunningly preserved archaeological site with other treasures in proximity.

Isfahan is a gem; a huge “meydan” (giant square) is surrounded by ornate palaces, colorful mosques and gigantic marketplaces.

The center of the ancient Zoroastrian faith, Yazd boasts fire temples, ancient wind towers and a relaxed atmosphere.

“Persian cuisine is similar to Middle Eastern food. Kebabs are a great choice, slow-cooked lamb is a highlight, eggplant is popular and many dishes feature garlic and yoghurt,” Asker said.

“As in many countries, the best food is in small restaurants, often near bazaars.”

A journey to Iran is a chance to peel away the layers of a country with a serious image problem. Beyond the stereotypes you will experience a country striving to be seen for what it is, rather than what it is perceived to be.

Whether you are traveling in cities like Isfahan or Tabriz, in the Zagros Mountains in central Iran or the deserts around Kerman, the real Iran will be revealed. It is a country where the desert glory of ancient Persepolis exists alongside the dynamic present of today’s traffic-choked Tehran.

“At its core you’ll discover a country of warm and fascinating people living within an ancient and sophisticated culture,” The Australian wrote in a report last year.

Iran is home to 19 world heritage sites — more than any other regional country — and boasts a wide variety of natural landscapes that boost the country’s appeal.

The World Travel Market Global Trends Report 2015 named Iran as one of the top three emerging destinations.

“There is certainly pent-up demand to visit Iran, and it is centrally located with good air links to Africa, Europe and Asia – so we expect those tourist numbers to boom,” said Caroline Bremner, head of travel at Euromonitor International, which helped compile the WTM report.

Britain and France have both eased their travel advice against traveling to Iran, and it is only a matter of time before other countries, such as Australia, follow suit.