Iran and the recent
The sound of receiving a WhatsApp message interrupts my daydreaming. It is from a concerned Australian friend who has watched the news…
Is Iran Safe for Tourists
The travel warnings by governments, misinformation and biased media intervention in creating misleading images of Iran is politically fuelled and targeted at instilling the ‘’Iranophobia’’ attitude in travellers.
Author: Melika Shahid
The sound of receiving a WhatsApp message interrupts my daydreaming. I reach my phone and open my messages. It is from a concerned Australian friend who has watched the news on Iran and the recent anti-government protests. The movement began in late-November 2019 in reaction to the hike in fuel prices by at least 200%, which sparked protests in many cities across the country. The riots turned violent and resulted in serious damages to private and public property, as well as caused causalities amongst both civilians and security forces. More than 1000 people were arrested and the death toll rose above 100 over the span of a week. Having drowned in these thoughts, I reply back to her message and put her mind to an ease. ‘’My family and I are fine and somehow living our daily routines’’ I hit the send button.
Political upheavals are common forms of rallies amongst protestors against government decisions and actions. For instance, the protestors from the Yellow Vests Movement have gathered in Paris’s streets every Saturday since mid-November 2018. Several Paris Metro and RER stations were closed on weekends in light of the violence in Paris. Many protestors were arrested and crowds were dispersed by tear gas and water cannons used by the cops. Despite the raising travel concerns and warnings by governments, Paris is still on top of so many travellers’ lists. This French political unrest hit the tourism sector and led to a declining number of tourists to Paris in 2019. Nevertheless, riots and political demonstrations can happen anywhere in the world these days. As tourists, avoiding the demonstrations, social awareness and talking to locals or those experienced travellers outdo the misleading information by social media and media.
The travel warnings by governments, misinformation and biased media intervention in creating misleading images of Iran is politically fuelled and targeted at instilling the ‘’Iranophobia’’ attitude in travellers. According to the 2019 Travel Risk Map launched by global risk experts International SOS, Iran has been ranked as a safe travel spot on par with some major European countries in terms of travel security. On the contrary, the imposed sanctions have resulted in depreciation of Rial, Iran’s national currency. This has resulted in higher purchasing power for foreigners and Iran to be ranked first in price competitiveness by World Economic Forum ‘’ Travel and Tourism competitive Forum 2019 report’’.
Diversity, safety, low costs, history, architecture and the people are some of the buzz words Peter Santenello, An Italian/American entrepreneur, writer and video content maker, associated with Iran, upon his visit in 2018. He created a documentary of his travel journey across the country which went viral on his social media platforms. Iran was portrayed through his lens of reality. ‘’ Do not listen to media hype and how dangerous Iran is as most people have no knowledge of how it is in the country when they try to give you travel advice. Definitely recommend traveling to Iran’’ Peter Santenello summed up his experiences online.
And last but not least, should you travel to Iran? Yes, certainly. Despite the recent anti-government riots, Iran is a very safe and welcoming country for tourists. NZ Travel and Tour offers customised group packages for those travellers seeking to explore the rich Persian culture and history of this exotic part of the world. As most of the foreign travellers who have visited Iran have to say, the limitations that are portrayed in global media isn’t the real outlook of Iran. We do have sanctions imposed on us, war threats, negative political foreign relationships with governments around the globe and civil unrest from time to time. However the country and the people are different to its politics. The hospitality in this country is deep and meaningful. The people are so inviting and genuine towards visitors. All you need is an open mind and an open heart, in order to thoroughly explore this exotic destination of the East. To help you get started, NZ Travel and Tour has put together a complete list of relevant information online. You can read more about visas, travel insurance, cash and debit cards and necessary information for travellers seeking to visit Iran. They also offer short stay and long stay travel tours and activity packages for diverse group of travellers from around the globe.