MNA – “Talks with Oman are underway to implement visa-free program for Iranian tourists visiting the country,” Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ali Asqar Mounesan announced on Wednesday.
“Oman is to cooperate with Iran in this regard and if a no-visa policy is not possible, visa-receiving fees asked to be reduced,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the cabinet meeting.
“In this regard, we have signed a tourism agreement with Oman to ease tourism ties,” he added referring to his visit to the country made upon the invitation of his Omani counterpart.
The Iranian minister reiterated that his country seeks expansion of tourism ties with regional and neighboring countries.
On September 20, the cabinet of ministers approved to maintain a visa waiver program for Omani nationals which had been ratified last September for a one-year period. The government took the decision in light of the friendly atmosphere in relations between the two nations and also in line with the reciprocal action of Oman for facilitating the entry of Iranian nationals.
Iran has taken some various steps to increase its revenues from tourism under US sanctions via improving its tourist ties with regional counties.
In mid-June, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued an order to the interior minister, according to which Iran will not put stamps on the passports of the visiting foreigners.
Cabinet Spokesman Ali Rabiei said earlier that “under its economic terrorism plans, the US is trying to frighten and stop foreign tourists from making trips to Iran.”
“Unfortunately, the US is following its economic terrorism programs against Iran and seeks to frighten everybody who wishes to travel to Iran from future problems or being sanctioned,” he said, “President Rouhani issued an order according to which Iran will not put stamp on the passports of the visiting foreign tourists.”
Iran started implementation of no-visa policy for Chinese and Hongkonger tourists and businessmen who make trips to Iran as of July 16, while the Russian government announced on September 16 that Iranians and nationals from 52 other countries can visit St. Petersburg via receiving free electronic visa.
About five million foreign tourists have visited Iran in the first half the current Iranian calendar year (starting March 21, 2019) and the data shows a 27 percent growth compared to the first half of the preceding year.