British travel companies have said that the election of Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, should lead to a surge in tourism to the country. The Foreign Office has also lifted its ban on travel to the country, which is hoped to encourage more travel to Iran.
President Rouhani has stated that he plans to rebuild the country’s relationship with the West, leading to British travel companies feeling more hopeful about a boost in travel to the country. In particular, adventure travel operators offering tours to Iran have expressed hope of a new lease of life for tourism to the country.
British-based travel company Wild Frontiers is just one of the adventure travel companies hoping for a resurgence of travel to Iran. “It is clear that the overwhelming majority of people in Iran want reform,” said Jonny Bealby, managing director of the company.
“It is very early days and we do not yet know what this guy is going to be like or whether what he wants will be cleared with the country’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But we can only hope that this will lead to a more tourist-friendly environment.”
The Foreign Office has lifted its ban on travel to the country, but still advises against visiting the country. “British nationals have been arbitrarily detained in Iran in 2010 and 2011, and there is a continued risk of this occurring again,” read a statement on the FCO’s website. “During a demonstration on November 29, 2011 the British Embassy in Tehran was attacked and set on fire. The Embassy is now closed.”
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