Iran started to offer visa free entry to tourists from 28 countries, aiming to rejuvenate its tourism sector.
This initiative includes visitors from Japan, Brazil, India, Mexico, and several other nations, reflecting a significant effort to attract international tourists.
The move, part of Ebrahim Raisi’s “neighborhood-friendly” policy, also extends to Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE, following recent diplomatic reconciliations.
Last year, Iran re-established diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia and other regional neighbors, marking a new era of engagement. The inclusion of Latin American, South Asian, and Central Asian countries in the visa exemption list underscores Iran’s ambition to enhance both diplomatic and cultural ties globally.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs, Ali-Reza Bigdeli, announced the visa waiver will apply to air travelers, signaling a focused approach to increase air tourism.
According to IRNA, this decision is part of a broader strategy to revive Iran’s tourism industry, which suffered a significant downturn following the coronavirus pandemic.
The tourism minister highlighted the visa waivers as a key measure to attract more international visitors.
This policy builds on existing visa-free agreements with countries like Türkiye, Oman, and China, aiming to recover the tourism sector’s pre-pandemic vitality.
Individuals holding ordinary passports will be allowed to enter the country without a visa once every six months, with a maximum stay of 15 days. It is important to note that the 15-day period cannot be extended.
Iran’s Nowruz festival, marking the Persian New Year, is a vibrant celebration that showcases the country’s rich cultural heritage and traditions, attracting tourists from around the globe. This time of year significantly boosts Iran’s tourism sector, as visitors flock to experience the unique festivities, including traditional music, food, and public gatherings that epitomize the spirit of renewal and joy. With the recent introduction of visa-free entry for tourists from 28 countries, Iran is set to welcome an even larger number of international visitors, eager to partake in the Nowruz festivities and explore the country’s myriad attractions.
Since mid-2023, there have been signs of recovery in Iran’s tourism, with officials exploring various incentives to draw foreign tourists. The visa waiver program represents a hopeful step towards revitalizing Iran’s appeal as a global tourist destination.