The Islamic Republic of Iran is a country in Western Asia with more than 80 million inhabitants. It is one of the four bordering countries of Armenia. Even though Iran is an Islamic republic, our relations are stable and continue to grow.
Armenians and Iranians share much history, culture, and also political interests. It should be noted that Iran is our strategic partner in the region.
We can proudly say that in recent years more and more tourists visit our country and many of them are Iranians. Armenia is a top destination for them, and there are several reasons for this. Let's see why!
Why do Iranian tourists prefer our country?
According to official data, our country welcomed about 220,000 Iranian tourists in 2018, which is up by 16 percent from 2017. The number of Iranian tourists keeps growing day by day, and the direct flights between Yerevan and Tehran make the trip more comfortable and more convenient.
Image credits: Cerev.info
Iranian citizens can visit Armenia without a visa. They no longer require entry visas if they stay in our country for no more than 90 days. It is also an essential factor that makes Armenia a preferable destination. Moreover, the staff of many hotels, restaurants, and shops speak not only Armenian, Russian and English but also Persian.
Iranians don't speak English much, and this fact is a great advantage for them.
Another reason why Iranians prefer our country is that Armenia has a land border with Iran and many tourists can come here in their cars. Admit it. It's comfortable and cheap. Compared to European countries, Armenia is affordable. They can spend a great time, have lots of fun and at the same time not spend a considerable amount of money. Sounds great, right?
The Iranian New Year - Nowruz
Iranians visit our country throughout the year, but you may have noticed that many of them travel to Armenia by the end of March. They come here to celebrate the Persian New Year - Nowruz. It is a national holiday and the most important festival of the year in Iran which lasts 13 days.
Image credits: IANYAN Magazine
Iranians celebrate Nowruz by cleaning the whole house and repairing the broken stuff. On the last day, they lay the table or organize a picnic with their families and relatives. According to Muslim rules, there are many restrictions for Iranians, and numerous things are strictly prohibited.
For example, they have no right to drink alcoholic beverages, smoke, have fun, listen to different genres of music, etc., whereas there are no such restrictions in our country. In those days, Armenia hosts about 25-30.000 Iranian tourists. They can be seen in pubs, nightclubs, restaurants, and other entertainment centers.
You probably know that Iranian women have to wear headscarves in their country. They hardly wear it in Armenia, which is a unique experience for them.
What do they do in Armenia?
Iranians visit not only discos and other entertainment venues, but also our historical and cultural centers. They can also make a trip to the Blue Mosque of Yerevan. It is an 18th-century Shia mosque which was renovated after the independence of Armenia.
Image credits: Irna.ir
By the way, it is the only active mosque in our country. It is a highly recommended place for Iranian tourists as the building is lovely and unique.
Every tourist wants to have a safe trip. Iranians often say that they feel protected in Armenia and we can't disagree with them. You can freely walk in the late evening, and nobody in the street will try to steal your wallet or attack you. We can't say the same thing about our neighbors - Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan. In this regard, Armenia is the most secure country in our region. That's for sure.
The benefits of Iranian tourists
Iranian tourists have a high impact on the Armenian economy, and they are essential to us. The majority of them prefers to live in luxurious hotels, shop in expensive boutiques. According to research, Iranian tourists spend 1000$ on average during their trip. As you see, there is significant potential for our tourism development.
Image credits: The Armenian Weekly
Although Iranians mostly like our country, there is still a lot of room for improvement. For example, the informative banners in foreign languages are very few, policemen and drivers barely speak English, which causes many complications limiting the tourists' contact.
Iranian tourists often complain that taxi drivers charge more for their services taking advantage of their being foreigners. Another problem is that Iranians can't book Armenian hotels online with Visa and Mastercards.
You probably know that the USA applies economic, trade and military sanctions against Iran. We hope that all these problems will be solved as soon as possible so we can provide top-notch service to our lovely guests.
We do our best to make Armenia more attractive not only for Iranians but also tourists from all parts of the world. Everyone is welcomed in our sunny country.
Published May 27, 2019
Article by Ani Shahbazyan