TEHRAN – Iran has been selected as the vice-chair of the Commission for South Asia of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the deputy tourism minister has announced.
The selection was made through the online conference of the 33rd Joint Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia and the Pacific & the UNWTO Commission for South Asia, the 54th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for East Asia & the Pacific, and the 58th Meeting of the UNWTO Commission for South Asia, which were held simultaneously on September 14.
Taking into account the strategic location of Iran within South Asia, the election of Iran as vice-chair of the commission will facilitate the introduction of the country’s tourism capacities as well as strengthen the ties with the region, CHTN quoted Vali Teymouri as saying on Saturday.
As part of the meeting, the World Tourism Organization and member countries discussed the work plan for the next two years and presented a report about the actions of specialized committees and working groups of the organization during the coronavirus pandemic, the official added.
The membership of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ministry in the Education Committee of the World Tourism Organization was also approved during the meeting, he noted.
Moreover, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili outlined how the organization is dealing with the negative effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the tourism industry in the world.
Experts expect Iran to achieve a tourism boom after coronavirus contained, believing its impact would be temporary and short-lived for a country that ranked the third fastest-growing tourism destination in 2019.
The Islamic Republic expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 26 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025. The latest available data show eight million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 20).