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Tourism Opportunities and Challenges in Iran: Report
Since my old dream came true (the first blog entries are devoted to the description of this event), I wondered how those people who somehow turned out to be associated with Iran relate to Iran. After reading reviews on relevant resources that a decent tourist should have read before, and not after the trip, I decided to personally ask travelers, Russian-speaking residents of Iran and tourism professionals about how they see Iran, its life, its service sector and international tourism.
If we examine all the opinions, impressions given as a whole, from a certain height, we can conclude that now Iranian tourism is in a very peculiar transitional period. This stage is especially typical for the service sector, in particular tourism, when demand for them is growing rapidly.
The first feature of the tourist "restructuring" is related to the fact that the size, technology and traditions of doing business have remained the same and often discourage both tourists and partners. At the same time, the increasing year after year demand for hotels, transport, entertainment causes the same avalanche-like rise in prices. People who visited Iran in the late 90s and early 2000s, having the opportunity to compare the level of prices and services, say that now they have to pay exorbitant prices for the same services. At the same time, the quality of these services remained the same. In addition, a double price can be charged from a foreigner in many establishments.
In the Iranian tourism business, as far as it can be judged from various responses, there is practically no desire for improvement. Old equipment, lazy and untrained staff, among whom you can hardly find a person with knowledge of English - all these are characteristic features of hotels in the "slightly below average" segment, so beloved by many independent travelers. The managers' logic is, obviously, the following: why change anything, if the tourist is already pouring down?
It is hoped that with the further development of tourism in Iran, this approach to doing business will sink into oblivion. Sooner or later, each service industry will find its own civilizer who wants to get super-profits through the introduction of modern technologies, offering customers services that meet their expectations.
Among those people who have already visited Iran, the question of turning an original country into "Turkey, Egypt and Cyprus" has become almost the most discussed. At the same time, it is practically impossible to clearly answer the question of the possibility of such a prospect. First, it is not clear what can be considered an Egyptian country and what is not. Secondly, the plans of the Iranian authorities on this issue are not known. There is no doubt that the attraction of foreign tourists will continue in the coming years, but it is not known what type of people will be attracted and whether, for example, resorts with special rules will be created. In the meantime, we can say that due to restrictions in diet and clothing, as well as the specific image of Iran, people go there not idle, but those who are really interested in unfamiliar cultures, traditions, people's lives outside their usual habitat.
In 2003, After the new policy to boost the medical tourism in Iran, the international patient department (IPD) was founded inside the Iran health ministry to help medical tourism companies like GOMEDIRAN and hospitals provide better quality services for foreigners seeking medical assistance in Iran. Medical tourism in Iran has become a booming industry in the past decade. People from neighboring countries cross borders in search of better quality and lower prices for their medical treatments. Also, many people fly from Europe and North America for high-quality cosmetic surgery in Iran. Iran is now the medical tourism hub in West Asia and the middle east.
Medical tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries in Iran and is estimated to contribute more than two billion dollars to its economy in 2021.
Faced with high healthcare costs at home, tourists from Europe, the US, Russia, and Arab countries fly to Iran to save up to 90 percent on the costs of treatments, especially for cosmetic surgeries in Iran.
Healthcare in Iran has grown and thrived in past decades, and the country now boasts several
state-of-the-art hospitals and clinics.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development describes medical tourists as those who “travel across international borders to receive some form of medical treatment.”
The global medical tourism market is estimated to be around $ 60 billion in 2021. Leading destinations within the medical tourism market include Malaysia, Iran, Thailand, Mexico, and the United States.
Iran offers a wide range of medical services, including cosmetic surgeries, heart surgeries, eye surgeries, infertility treatment, and more.
People seek out cosmetic surgeries in Iran because Iranian cosmetic surgeons offer affordable cosmetic surgeries with the best results using the latest medical technologies.
Some call Iran, capital of rhinoplasty because Iran has the highest rate of nose surgeries per capita. Iranian nose surgeons are among the bests because of their top experience and expertise.
The heir to the luxury of the Persian Empire, Iran blossoms before the traveler with blue domes and jugs, lacework on medieval walls and intricate patterns of precious fabrics, shine of shah's jewelry and shimmering silk carpets. Contradictory, but attractive, hospitable, but harsh - this country has been worrying our minds and hearts for more than a century, perhaps from the very moment when the death of the Russian ambassador redeemed with the largest diamond. Iran hides the greatest historical heritage, magnificent natural landscapes, the richest cuisine and exquisite objects of national art - and to know everything, not only a standard tourist visit, but also a lifetime is definitely not enough. Having visited it, you dream of only one thing - in your next life you will definitely be born here!
The main cities are Isfahan, Tabriz, Shiraz, Yazd, Mashhad, Kerman, Kom, Kashan, Hamedan.
Ski resorts - Disin and Tochal.
Muslim resort in the Persian Gulf - Kish Island. All the details about the cities and resorts of Iran - on the page "The intricacies of tourism".
How to get to Iran
There are several flight options from Moscow and Russian cities to Iran. Direct flights from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Tehran airport are operated by the national air carrier IranAir (on Tuesdays) and Aeroflot (daily, except Monday and Friday). Flight time is about 4 hours. In addition, you can arrive in Iran with a transfer by such airlines as Emirates (via Dubai), Turkish Airlines (Istanbul), Qatar Airways (Doha), Alitalia (Rome), Austrian Airlines (Vienna), Lufthansa (Frankfurt), Azerbaijan Airlines ( Baku) and others.
To visit Iran, citizens of the Russian Federation need to obtain a visa (in advance or upon arrival) and issue an insurance policy for the entire duration of the trip.
You can freely import and export foreign currency to Iran. It is prohibited to import weapons and explosives, alcohol (!), Drugs, pornography and any materials that can offend the national religion and moral norms. If you plan to export valuables, antiques and carpets out of the country, it is recommended that you have a proof of purchase.
Tehran is one of the leading tourist destinations in Iran. There are a number of famous landmarks in the city. In 2016, Tehran received 1.4 million foreign tourists. Tehran has several art, history and science museums, including the National Museum of Iran and the Carpet Museum. It also houses the Museum of Contemporary Art, which displays works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and Van Gogh. The Regalia of Iranian monarchs are exhibited at the National Museum of Jewelry in Tehran. Tehran hosts a number of cultural and trade exhibitions, many.
Iran, with its attractive natural conditions and historical sights, is among the top ten countries in the world most attractive to tourists.
Iran's natural conditions create conditions for a wide variety of recreational activities - from hiking and skiing Elburz to a beach holiday on the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. It is expected that over the next five years, the most rapid development of tourism infrastructure on the Persian Gulf coast, mainly on the island of Kish, where currently more than 1 million tourists, mainly Iranians, rest annually.
In Iran, tourism is developing such as ecotourism, restoration of historical buildings, acquaintance with folk crafts and health tourism. Various types of tourism are developing in the country - cultural, religious, pilgrimage, nature, sports, health and ecological tourism.
Until the end of the 1970s, Iran enjoyed significant popularity among tourists, but due to the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the Iran-Iraq War, the flow of tourists dropped sharply. Since the early 2000s, despite international tensions, the country's leadership has been pursuing a policy of stimulating tourism and developing tourism infrastructure.
According to the 2015 World Tourism and Travel Council, the volume of cultural and ecological tourism, as the main components, is assessed as having great potential to create jobs for 1.285 thousand people.
The industry growth rate is estimated at 4.% per year. According to these estimates, it will be able to create 1,913,000 jobs by 2025.
Much attention is paid to the development of tourism in Iran by the Organization of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Crafts of Iran, which is responsible for the creation, development and operation of tourist facilities in Iran, repair and reconstruction of tourist facilities through direct investment or the provision of loans to private sector, the issuance of licenses, control over the creation and operation of hotels, restaurants, travel agencies and their assessment rating.
Investments in Iran's free trade zones are tax-exempt for up to 20 years.
Iran, with its attractive natural conditions and historical sights, is among the top ten countries in the world most attractive to tourists .
Iran's natural conditions create conditions for a wide variety of recreational activities - from hiking and skiing in the Elburs mountains to a beach holiday on the shores of the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. Over the next five years, the most rapid development of tourism infrastructure on the Persian Gulf coast, mainly on the island of Kish, where currently more than 1 million tourists, mainly Iranians, rest annually.
Until the late 1970s, Iran enjoyed significant popularity among tourists, but due to the Islamic Revolution of 1979 and the Iran-Iraq War, the flow of tourists fell sharply. Since the early 2000s, despite international tensions, the country's leadership has been pursuing a policy of stimulating tourism and developing tourism infrastructure.
In 2003, the Iranian authorities issued 300,000 tourist visas, most of them issued to Muslims from Asian countries who intended to visit places of pilgrimage such as Mashhad and Qom. Organized tours from Germany, France, Great Britain and other European countries focus mainly on archaeological sites and monuments.
Since 2004, Iran has seen a significant increase in the number of foreign tourists every year; by mid-2008, their flow increased to 2.5 million people. The flow of tourists from Germany grew especially rapidly. 
Estimated by the International Travel and Tourism Council (English) Russian. , the growth of business tourism and individual tourism in Iran amounted to 11.3% and 4.6% in 2007, respectively, compared to the previous year .
(Source: EIU)  200420052006 Arrivals of tourists from abroad, million people 1.6561,7201,769 Inbound tourism turnover, $ billion, 9170.9711,022