Iran intends to achieve a balance between the inbound and outbound tourist flows that currently exist between the country and Russia, Iran's Vice President and Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Chief, Zahra Ahmadipour, said.
“We should conduct an in-depth analysis and take practical measures in line with raising the number of Russian travelers to the country,” Zahra Ahmadipour said in an address to a tourism meeting in Tehran.
"Our failure to attract tourists from countries that we have a good political relationship with them is something that should be seriously followed through investigation," Tehran Times cited Ahmadipour as saying.
Launching [travel] campaigns, boosting participation in exhibitions, training courses for tourist guides fluent in Russian, translation and dissemination of attractions in Iran, and cutting the travel costs are amongst the measures that can lead to obtain an appropriate share of the Russian tourism market, the official explained.
Roughly 67,000 Iranians visited Russia in 2016, a solid growth of 72% compared to a year earlier, Russia Beyond the Headlines reported on April 5. Russians expect around 100,000 Iranians to visit the country this year while most travelers (about 95%) are usually interested in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
In March, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Russian President Vladimir Putin inked a visa-free agreement for tourist groups in Moscow. Based on the agreement tour groups of 5 to 50 people heading to Russia from Iran or vice versa will be granted a visa-free stay of up to 15 days.