Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Visas for Iran will be obtainable through Internet: Vice President Mar'ashi

Visas for Iran will be obtainable through Internet: official: "Visas for Iran will be obtainable through Internet: official
Madrid, Feb 7, IRNA -- Vice President and Head of Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) Hossein Mar'ashi announced here Monday, "Tourists who wish to visit Iran can in near future obtain their visas through the Internet within 48 hours."
Mar'ashi announced the news in an interview with the World Torsion Organization's Madrid-based periodical OMT.

He added, "That Naturally means the foreign tourists would no longer have to go to the Islamic Republic of Iran's embassies and consulate offices for the purpose."

The Iranian vice president reiterated, "Presently, too, the tourists who arrive in Iran through the country's international airports in Tehran, Mashhad, Isfahan, or Shiraz having obtained no visa in advance get their week-long visas upon arrival."

The head of CHTO then focussed on his plans for boosting Iran's tourism industry, arguing, "Iran is an ancient land in each corner of which we have a precious gem."

He added, "Tourism attractions of our country are countless, and therefore, it would be a pity not to take proper advantage of them in a bid to boost the country's tourism industry."

Mar'ashi said, "A blossoming tourism industry benefits the people in the regions often visited by the tourists, often leading to improving their living conditions, as well."

He said that the three groups who visit Iran more often are the Iranians living abroad, the foreigners who have an interest in the history of the ancient world and other civilizations, and the enthusiasts of Iran's beautiful and quite diversified nature.

Focussing on another type of tourists, the pilgrims, Mar'ashi said, "One might assume that we merely have Shi'a pilgrim tourists, but that is not true since we also have European and American tourists who come o Iran to visit the holy sites, such as the birth places and graves of 12 of the Judaist prophets (PBUT), or the oldest church in the history of Christianity."

The head of Iran's CHTO further reiterated that Iran has also been the land in which Zoroaster was born, elected as God's prophet, and propagated his monotheist faith.

Mar'ashi pointed out that Iran is among the vary few countries in the world where you can see climates of the year's four different seasons all year round, trace the cradle of the world's greatest ancient civilization enriched by the Islamic civilization, and lots of other attractions, each drawing the interest of a vast group of foreign enthusiasts."

He reiterated, "The Iranian government is currently seriously busy providing unprecedented facilities and bonuses for the foreign and Iranian tourists, aimed at increasing our country's share of this major economic resource."

Mar'ashi said, "Iran is quite determined to expand its tourism industry and we have both short term and long term plans for the purpose."

Mar'ashi's last visit of Spain was in the last week of November 2003, during which he attended a gathering titled 'Iran, Economic Opportunities'. During that visit he had a meeting with the secretary general of the World Tourism Organization, as well as a number of Spanish private and state sector tourism officials.

His current visit is aimed at rounding up the preliminary professional arrangements made during that visit.

Spain, the world's second tourism pole next to France, is host to over 52 million foreign tourists annually and gains an average 37 million euro annually from its tourism industry."

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