ICHHTO Preparing Guide to Key Iranian Regulations
Iran's tourism authority is preparing a brief guide on key regulations to familiarize foreign visitors with the country's laws before they travel to Iran.
During a meeting of the Tourists' Security Commission on Saturday, Morteza Rahmani Movahed, deputy for tourism at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said, "The guide will be made available on the websites of the Foreign Ministry and Iran's diplomatic missions, as well as all ports of entry into the country."
The official said the publication of the guide will help ensure the safety of foreign nationals and keep Iran's tourism secure, the organization's official website, Ichto.ir, reported.
Years of animosity between Tehran and the international community—due to western-backed economic sanctions, which were lifted in January 2016—allowed foreign media with vested interests to smear Iran and paint a bleak picture of life in the Mideast country.
As a result, foreign tourists who ignore misplaced warnings and travel to Iran are pleasantly surprised by what they see. However, to encourage more tourists to come, it is integral to clear Iran's name, which can be achieved by smart marketing and distributing information on the country's laws, which can help avoid misunderstandings.
-- Security Sells
Iranian officials and advocates of developing the tourism industry tout the country's security, especially when compared to its neighbors, as a selling point.
Local officials in various cities have taken measures to ensure the safety of foreign tourists.
For instance, in Tehran and Isfahan, a tourist police unit has been formed to help foreign visitors resolve any grievances.
According to Rajabali Khosroabadi, the head of the ICHHTO office in Tehran Province, the purpose of the unit is to "help tourists deal with problems they might face—not to control people".
To help foreign visitors pursue complaints even after they have left the country, the official said the organization can represent tourists in legal cases.
"A tourist who has been a victim of pickpocketing and has lost important documents will naturally file a report, but they can't stay in Iran until the case is finalized," Khosroabadi said.
"Based on an agreement with the judiciary, the legal arm of the ICHHTO is allowed to represent foreign tourists in legal cases. When filing a report at a police station, tourists are given a separate form that allows them to select the organization as their attorney."