Wednesday’s terrorist attacks in Tehran are not expected to have a noticeable impact on Iran’s inbound tourism, as the incidents did not take place at a tourist spot, a tourism expert said.
“Unlike Turkey, India or Thailand, Iran’s attacks were not made in a hotel, airport or resort where tourists are often present, so there is no need to worry,” said Mohammad Taqi Rahnamaei, a member of Iranian Tourism Scientific Association, ISNA reported.
Morteza Rahmani Fazli, tourism deputy at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, has also tweeted that “blind terrorism will not disturb the determination of Iran’s large tourism family to welcome tourists”.
Violence and insecurity, especially involving terrorist incidents, are major threats to tourism and travelers are often warned against visiting destinations experiencing such issues.
The foreign media’s overstated coverage of Tehran’s events, combined with Iran’s lackluster promotion of its attractions abroad, has been a cause for concern.
According to Rahnamaei, tourists to Iran have stronger cultural motivations that make them more determined to make their trip than those who merely travel for leisure.
Pointing to Turkey’s tourist loss following several attacks last year, the expert said despite its historical attractions, this country is rather a leisure destination for western tourists, which is easy to substitute in case of a smallest risk.
“Iran, however, has qualities for which no replacement can be easily found. Tourists might become a little nervous but I do not expect them to change their plans or cancel their trips,” he said.
Tehran was hit on June 7 with two simultaneous terrorist attacks targeting the parliament and the mausoleum of Imam Khomeini in the south of the city that left 12 people dead and 42 wounded. All six attackers were also killed.
The number of casualties reached 17 by late Thursday.