Mehran Border Terminal Launches Tourist Office

Promotion of package tours, booking rooms, selling SIM cards are some of the services offered at the information office
Mehran Border Terminal is among the high-traffic crossings in the country.Mehran Border Terminal is among the high-traffic crossings in the country.

The first information and tourist services office at a border crossing in Iran was launched in Mehran Border Terminal in Ilam Province last week.

The office is a pilot project to organize Iran’s inbound tourists at land border terminals and has been set up by the private sector in one of the high-traffic crossings in the country, the Persian daily Ettelaat reported.   

Banking and insurance services, sale of SIM cards, package tours and tickets for plane, train and bus as well as hotel booking are among the services offered to incoming passengers.

Mehran is a major border between Iran and Iraq, and is among the most significant crossings, especially due to its proximity to holy cities in Iraq. Between 500,000 and 600,000 people cross the border at this terminal every year.

A program to organize the affairs of travelers was devised in Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in 2013 and 12 border and non-border provinces were instructed to implement the scheme once it had been approved by the National Security Council.

The plan was aimed at offering quality and affordable services to tourists and pilgrims by the private sector.  

Morteza Rahmani Movahed, tourism deputy at ICHHTO, pointed to Iraq as a major source of tourists to the country, which has to be given special attention.

“Since there is no integrated management system for tourists in Iraq, we have to focus on and improve services in our border terminals,” said.

In the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2017), Iraq was named top destination for Iranian travelers, most of whom were pilgrims.

Mohammad Reza Morvarid, governor of Ilam, said it is not possible to handle the affairs of all [Iraqi] tourists in Mehran and called on Iraqi officials to cooperate in organizing their travelers inside their country.

  Influx of Tourists

Morvarid noted that the large volume of inbound tourists makes it difficult for border officials to process them in a timely fashion, calling on Iraqi officials to cooperate with authorities in Ilam.

He also called for plans to encourage tourists to stay in the province for a longer period.

“Over a year ago, a memorandum of understanding was signed with the governor of Iraq’s Babil Province to direct 1,000 tourists per week to Ilam, but no measure has been taken from their side so far,” he said, without elaborating on the MoU’s details.

Although Ilam boasts numerous historical, religious and natural attractions, it is in dire need of investment in recreational and lodging facilities and the development of infrastructure to boost its tourism industry.


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