eTurboNews and Tehran Times interview with Mr. Ali Vaghefi , the managing director at Iran Doostan Tours Co. PJS.
Iran is a country of vast diversity, great natural beauty and numerous heritage sites from ancient times. Sitting on the Silk Road, the ancient connection gateway between west and east has resulted in creation of a unique culture with a combination of western and eastern values. Iran is home to a dozen cultures, traditions, ethnicities, and languages with a high potential in tourism attractions. Seeing the significant rise of tourists booking their trips for Iran even before the nuclear deal was signed is a proof of Iran’s popularity among the people who love traveling to the most exotic places in the world.
Ali Vaghefi an expert in Iran travel industry and the vice president and cofounder of Iranian Tour Operators Association believes the political decisions by President Hassan Rouhani which led into lifting sanctions of Iran brought the golden age in tourism industry for our country. With the new moderate policies the world has changed its view about Iran, and Iranian people have more support for their government as we saw a good contribution in the recent parliament election.
“Our friendly connection with the world will ease the ground for those who want to travel to Iran for its rich heritage sites or for business investments. Iran is one of the world’s biggest untapped tourist destinations having 19 UNESCO world heritage sites and fascinating natural attractions. Also since the country has been out of the international investment list, its market has a great potential for investors in many different fields such as hoteliers and aviation. Followed by arriving the new markets and companies to Iran the work force must receive the proper trainings which requires in bringing new technologies and educations to the country as well. All business investors and companies can obtain the most up to dated information about Iran’s economic situation and its future outlook from Iranian tour operator companies.” said Mr. Vaghefi.
Ali Vaghefi, as a successful business man in incoming tours to Iran since 1990, introduces new solutions for facing Iran’s infrastructural shortages in tourism industry. “Spring and fall season are the times that we have a rush in tourists arrival and for facing this upsurge Iran needs to upgrade its infrastructures as fast as possible. We need to triple the number of our four and five stars hotels which requires a lot of time. So the leading tour operators like us decided to create new products that will bring in use all the aspects of Iran’s unique attractions in winter and summer as well. Iran is privileged by sitting on a huge area that has resulted in a great variation of climate and biodiversity. In winter our travelers can drive to north of Tehran for skiing in international Shemshak ski resort or take a flight to south to the islands of Persian Gulf to enjoy jet skis or any other water activities. Also they have the option of going to safari tours in the desert and enjoy camel riding, off-roading, sand boarding, trekking in the desert, and star gazing at night.
For this purpose we built the first eco-friendly camp in Iran in 2012. Matinabad desert eco-camp and organic farm was established in Isfahan province and gained the award by UNDP as one of the 18 best practices in sustainable eco-tourism for following the CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and SRB (Socially Responsible Business) models.”
At the end Mr. Vaghefi said about the importance of media and its influence on Iran tourism industry. “Despite the warnings on travelling to Iran, all those who chose to experience this country have so many stories to tell about the warm and special welcomes they received form Iranian people. This is a world away of what the media says about Iran. We are privileged by having a powerful national protection that has made Iran the safest country in the region and our tourists feel absolutely secured during their stay. After the nuclear deal I have seen news agencies or magazines that had never talked about Iran before but are promoting Iran as one of the top destinations now. Iran became the number one destination on the National Geographic Traveler’s cool list of 2016, best places to travel in 2016 by Travel + Leisure, one of the top 16 destinations on CNN list, and many more.” Ali Vaghefi said he is so glad to see all the media who introduced Iran as an unsafe destination and tried to convince everyone to not travel to this country, have changed their view and have put Iran in their top destinations in 2016.