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World Media Put Spotlight on Iran as Tourist Hub

Following a landmark nuclear  deal Tehran and world powers clinched in 2015, Iran is repeatedly named as a hot travel destination by a circle of international media outlets in terms of its rich history, picturesque sceneries, traditions, cuisine and hospitable people.Such array of encouraging accounts help to amend the global image of the country, which had been partly tarnished by some Western media over the past decades.The new approach derives more backpackers to feel the country so that they are able to judge between what they experience and what Western propaganda disseminates.Iran has launched extensive plans to bolster its tourism sector. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, the country is expecting to increase the number of tourism arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025. An excerpt of international travel articles on Iran is given in what fallows: An original destination for lovers of culture, art and history “Iran offers its visitors an original destination for lovers of skiing and sunbathing, on the beaches of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. It also attracts those in love with culture, art and history,” Le Figaro reported on Jan. 20, noting that the country is a widening source of charm for the  French as both travelers and tour operators focus on its natural and cultural richness. ■ £200 hotel voucher Last October, the Guardian has issued a public call, inviting tourists who have been either on a guided cultural tour of the country’s cities, skiing or hiking trips, or the sole travels to Iran to try their luck at earning a £200 voucher from if they share their tips on the ancient land.“Iran is no longer forbidden territory for Western travelers and offers amazingly varied scenery, history and culture. We want to hear about the country’s splendors –you may have relatives in the country and have been taken to various sites or you may have been on a guided hiking and cultural trip,” the daily wrote. ■ Iran amidst hot travel destinations Major India-headquartered tour operator Cox & Kings Ltd. announced last November its forecast for 2017, with Iran amongst the hot destinations in 2017. ■ Tehran on Mastercard’s top 10 In Sep. 2016, Mastercard Global Destinations Cities Index released its annual report,  placing Tehran at ninth place among the top-ten fastest growing destination cities.The bustling yet historical Iranian capital has witnessed a growth of 12.98 percent in terms of the international overnight visitor arrivals, the report said.Mastercard based its judgments on figures compiled from 132 most visited cities around the world. ■ Iran in focus of American and European tourists In March 2016, Azer News wrote “today, the country is in focus of American and European tourists, who are planning to beat a path to the long-isolated country’s door to explore whatever is beyond it.” ■ A really good meal “On my journey, I cooked and feasted with Iranians of all walks of life who welcomed me into their homes to share their favorite recipes. Food is a wonderful vehicle for discovery in Iran. A really good meal is something everyone can relate to.” wrote Yasmin Khan in the Guardian about her food tourism in Iran. ■ Journey along the Silk Road Skylines, an Austrian magazine, introduced a number of Iran’s tourist attractions in its first issue of 2017 during a report by its journalist who spent 6 days in the Islamic Republic.“Land of Palaces: A journey along the legendary Silk Road, from Isfahan to Tehran” is the title of Skylines’ illustrated report on the tourist attractions of Isfahan, Kashan and Tehran. ■ This trend is expected to continue The Insider website – affiliated with the well-known Business Insider – referred to Iran as one of the top 50 tourist destinations in 2017. Besides such websites as National Geographic Travel, Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor, Insider publishes lists to present top tourist destinations. Iran has attracted more and more tourists over the past few years, the website said in December 2016. “This trend is expected to continue well into 2017, thanks to new direct flights to Tehran from both London and Paris, and the construction of multiple new hotels,” Insider wrote.
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