Iran, Georgia to boost tourism ties

Tehran, Aug 10, IRNA – Officials from Georgia and Iran have discussed ways to boost tourism ties between the two countries.

Chairman of Georgia-Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group Gubaz Sanikidze held a meeting with the Director of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft Organization (ICHTHO) Massud Soltanifar in Tehran on Saturday.
Soltanifar stressed the need for Islamic Republic and Georgia to develop a joint plan to strengthen tourism industry in the two countries, Tehran Times reported.
After Tehran’s nuclear agreement with world powers, Iran is ready to expand relations with all the countries around the world, especially with the ones it has a common historical and cultural background like Georgia, he said.
Iran is a great country with vast cultural and economic potential, which can create opportunities for other nations to bolster relations with it, he added.
“Georgians are acquainted with Persian culture since ancient times. Georgia is determined to improve ties with Iran,” Sanikidze said.
In 2013, Georgia canceled visa free rules for Iranian citizens, while Georgian citizens can still visit and stay in Iran for 45 days without a visa.
Georgia and Iran enforced rules for visa free travel from January 2011, until early July, 2013 when Georgia tightened the visa rules for Iranian citizens.
A Georgian embassy official in Tehran told Tehran Times that visa rules have been recently relaxed and Iranian citizens can obtain electronic visas (e-visa) before entering the country.
The official said Tbilisi has no plan to resume rules for visa free travels for Iranians in the near future, however he added the e-visa facility allows the possibility to apply for a Georgian visa in simpler steps.
The recorded history of Georgia dates back more than 4,000 years. The culture of Georgia has evolved over the country’s long history, providing it with strong literary tradition. The unique Georgian alphabet, which is among the fourteen existing ones in the world, dates back to the 5th century BC.