Iran Easing Entry Rules: Tourists Will Skip Passport Border Stamps – Reports

Middle East

Iranian authorities will introduce protectionist measures to support the nation’s tourism industry in the wake of unilateral US sanctions on Iran, Mehr news agency reported Saturday.

Iranian media outlet cited Ali Asghar Mounesan, the Iranian vice president and head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), who announced that passports of foreign tourists visiting Iran will not have to be stamped. Proposed legislation for the move has been drafted and approved by the head of ICHTO and main the country’s Ministries.

“While the statistics provided by immigration police of Iran show that the number of foreign tourists visiting Iran has increased by 38 percent in the first four months [of the current Iranian year of 1397], the number of European visitors show a slight decline which has affected the functionality of our 4- and 5-star hotels,” Ali Asghar Mounesan was quoted as saying by Mehr news agency.

Mounesan stressed that the move will allow an easing of “tourists’ concerns about visiting Iran because of US sanctions.”

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Last year, Russia and Iran signed an agreement on visa-free travel for tourist groups from five to 50 people. Moscow and Tehran have simplified visa rules in place for their nationals – business people, scientists, educators and several other categories of travelers – that…

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