(eTN) – In October this year, the American & Iran Tourism Association was officially registered in Tehran. It is the first time that an organization in Iran is being allowed to have the word “American” in its title.
Soon after this, on November 10, the American & Iran Tourism Association put their banner of approval on the first US tourism association – the International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP), chaired in the United States by the publisher of eTurboNews. Along with Mr. Hamid reza Talebi, President of the chapter in Iran, they have formed this tourism partnership based on the premise and the belief that the tourism industry is the key to peaceful relations and the abatement of conflict between the US and Iran. Mr. Mohammad Taghi Malboobi was appointed director of the association. The idea for this unprecedented partnership began as an idea back in 2002 when ideas were shared without any political overtones.
ETurboNews was the first group of travel professionals to ever be allowed into Iran without a visa, and its publisher was the first westerner allowed to speak at the Islamic hall of government offices. Here, he met with the last Vice President for Cultural Heritage and Tourism of Iran, Mr. Esfandiar Rahim Mashayi, whose areas of responsibility includes tourism visas.
From this meeting, an initiative was developed whereby US travelers wanting to visit Iran, will have their visa applications quickly processed if they are associated with ICTP. Mr. Hamid reza Talebi said, “The Iranian government has informed all their embassies to easily facilitate visa applications for anyone traveling to Iran under this initiative.” Mr. Talebi also expressed his hope to receive a shared cooperation from the United States for the speedy facilitation of tourism visas for Iranians wishing to visit America if associated with ICTP.
ETurboNews officials will be going to Tehran for further discussions with Mr.Hamid Baghayi, Chairman of the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) and Vice President of I. R. IRAN.
The Iran government believes that the tourism industry and the interchange of tourists are not political issues, and the government stands ready for the development of positive and friendly relations via the tourism industry.
ETurboNews publisher Juergen Thomas Steinmetz said: “These are historical times between the United States and Iran in terms of the travel and tourism industry, and eTurboNews is proud to be a part of this revolutionary joint partnership.”