Iran tourism for women: Safe or not safe?
By: Justine Oliver

With sanctions relaxed on Iran and airlines including British Airways reintroducing direct flights to Tehran, Iran is attracting foreign companies and travelers again. Having just returned from a one-month self-drive tour of the country, I can assure you that the destination has a lot to offer.

Justine Oliver is an independent travel security specialist with comprehensive global expertise that specializes in solo female travel. For 16 years she has been advising multinationals, NGOs, media organizations, educational institutions, companies and individuals on how to operate abroad safely. From 2001 to 2015, Justine worked at Control Risks and then as a joint venture between Control Risks and International SOS in London, providing customers across the globe with all aspects of rice safety, incident and crisis management, business continuity and security .During this time, Justine regularly provided training for customers who worked abroad or sent new travelers and ex-patrons to unfamiliar surroundings. It conducts training sessions, both through the webinar and reciprocal, to individuals and groups across Europe. Before she specialized in travel security, Justine lived in Hong Kong for four years, where she worked in development for the Hong Kong Cancer Fund.When leaving Southeast Asia, Justine, instead of flying home, decided to return a 30-foot sailboat with her future husband to London for ten months. During this time, honored their writings by documenting their journey and their resulting articles were serialized in Yachting Monthly. Justine has traveled and worked in more than 58 countries and has just returned from a five month trip with her husband and two children who are returning a landrover from 1957 to Iran and back. Justine holds a degree in Combined Studies from Newcastle University. She currently lives in South-West France.
Business, culture, history, landscape, food and the people are just some of the compelling reasons to travel to Iran, but one of the main barriers to visit the country for many people is often their colleagues and friends asking ” It really safe travel?

Western media often portray Iran as negative. There is a widespread misunderstanding about the true nature and security of the country spoiled by the reputation of some of its politically unstable neighbors.
That’s why people are often stunned when they are told Iran, with the exception of a few  locations, is considered a low-risk country and a safe destination to visit.
As a travel security consultant, specialising in women travellers, here are my top 10 tips to ensure visitors have a safe and fascinating trip to Iran.


Crime rates are low in Iran and many women travel to the country alone without any problems. As with traveling to any destination, you should always basic, healthy people understand precautions, such as do not visit isolated places after dark or find yourself alone with men you do not know. The rates of small crimes such as pocket tears and pick pockets are far lower than in Western countries and serious crime against foreigners is even rarer.

The main danger for women traveling is the foul of cultural feelings. The country is Islamic and as a woman you are limited in terms of your clothes and behavior. The risks for women are twofold; The religious authorities and the male attention unintentionally. The latter is much less likely than in other Muslim countries such as Egypt and Pakistan, where it is not uncommon to be bothered by unwanted male attention. Iranians are incredibly friendly and welcoming, but are also very respectful of your personal space. They are extremely unlikely to be hit in Iran.
It is considered very rude to approach a woman without being invited. They can also be gazed at by men and women, but this is probably due to genuine curiosity and excitement that you visit their country. If you are friends in Iran you will surely be like the Iranians are some of the friendliest people on earth, you have to be careful to make Western style look contact with men in the group as you will feel them uncomfortable or worse Can your eye contact as To accept an invitation. Wearing sunglasses can help avoid inadvertently avoid contact with people you are not talking with. Touching, tapping on the back, shaking hands with men and other physical contact is not advisable.


The religious authorities are a threat to women traveling, and it is very important to stick to the strict dress code by wearing the hijab. The word hijab can mean both headscarf and “modest clothing,” but in Iran it means that your hair and body should be totally covered and your upper body should not be too close and should be low enough to cover your bottom.
Iranian women are in two groups with more religious women tend to wear the “Chador” meaning “tent”, an informal black dress that covers their entire body. The other group is wearing bright colors, and usually a “manteau”, or thigh-length, lightweight jacket over jeans. Examination of the limits of the permissible seems to be an Iranian sport, especially in Tehran, but the Islamic police patrol the streets and attract people into inappropriate clothes.
Each city seems to have different standards and in more religious cities like Qom you will not feel comfortable in your colorful Manteau and want to wear nude, loosely fitting black clothes and socks when you wear sandals.

Nobody hides her face Iran, but every woman before puberty must cover her hair and décolleté. In reality, every city and city follows these rules more or less. In Tehran, you see some women with most of their hair uncovered and their heads only attached to the back of their heads, while in Tabriz, no one will show any hair. Take some hairpins to help keep your veil in place and be sure to leave every time you leave your hotel room and leave your hotel room for breakfast.


One of the things women do not travel on their own is eating alone. Iranians are so friendly and cheerful that it is unlikely that you have to endure a lot of lonely food. Because of social constraints, men are unlikely to approach you, but it is very likely that Iranian women, in groups or with their family, invite you to dine with them. Do not be surprised if they pay for your food, even if you have refused to join them!

Public transport is safe to use but aside from the Tehran Metro, it is probably not the ideal mode of transport for a business traveller.
The Tehran Metro is cheap, clean, air-conditioned and easy to navigate. At the front and back of each train are women wagons. These were implemented for gentleman’s reasons instead of sexist or discriminatory and can provide a less crowded and more comfortable experience, especially during the rush hour crush in the central carriages. Women can have other carriages alone or with male colleagues.

Toilets are definitely a low point in what is otherwise a very demanding company. Surprisingly, they are not always separate. It is not uncommon to visit the bathroom in a restaurant to find out that you have to go through the toilets of the men to get to the women’s area. But there is always soap, for which one is most grateful!

The main roads in Iran are very good quality, but the driving behavior is bad. Always check that your vehicle is working seat belts and sitting in the back. Drivers will try to drive as fast as possible; Ask them to slow down if you are concerned and feigned travel sickness if you make any progress.


Count Down Begins to the Most Significant World Tourism Event in Iran
By: Mina Mehdinia

Count Down Begins to the Most Significant World Tourism Event in Iran

The “2017 WFTGA Convention”, Presenting Iranian Humanity and Hospitality…

The Convention Confirmed Seminar, The Deep-rooted Alliance Showcase

The wrap-up meeting held on the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Org. auditorium, on 26 Dec 2016, to finalize the process and report the developments.   

Less than one month, Iran will proudly host 400 tourist guides from 45 countries. The Convention acts as an occasion to introduce Iran worldwide and IFTGA ambassadors will well done it.   

Morteza Rahmani Movahed, deputy head of the Iran’s Cultural Heritage and Tourism Org. fully cares the Convention, said in his speech: “Great workout is coming, hence our responsibility to protect it is on the rise day after day. Definitely the participants will talk years about Iran’s attractions and Iranian etiquette and hospitality”. “Tourist guides play an important role in the tourism industry and the Convention is the fruit of their mission. To touch the goals, governmental establishments support the convention”, he added.

“Wholeheartedly, all sections should have a hand in this national event, avoid opposition or hostility and warmly work to get the result”, Rahmani Movahed emphasized.

The 2017 Convention executive secretary, Mohsen HajiSaeed said in the 26th Dec seminar: “70 percent of the specialists assured that Iran selected in a most befitting manner. Fighting against Iranophobia and encourage people to travel Iran are the main purposes of us in this Int’l event”.    

He also explained the goings-over through the Convention and added: “Thanks to the attempts of Iran’s tourism Org., Mr. Taleb D. Rifai, UNWTO Secretary General, will attend in the day of opening. All details are checked but still we need to get help from the airlines and linked agencies”.

Pre-tour, convention and post-tour’s planning were also clarified with the presence of Director Generals of Tehran, Zanjan, Hamedan, Yazd, Fars and Isfahan Tourism organizations. The mentioned provinces are involved in the planning which will be held on Jan 25th – Feb 6th.

“High quality facilities, standard services and competitive capacities would be the achievement of the Convention”, stated Ali Baqer Ne’mati, director of the Promotion and Marketing Office at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

Registration for the event has started and over 300 foreigner and 111 domestic guides are in the list totally. Almost 250 Iranian Visa Codes are issued till now, 203 are accepted and others are on the process. With no trouble the invitees will get the airport visa.  

The event will absolutely lead to show the exact peaceful face of Iran to the world. Collaboration between the organizers controls every details. Full security and safety provide to the Convention guests from the start point to the last step, alongside with best sightseeing tours and conferences awaits them.

Additionally, the 2017 WFTGA Convention’ poster was unveiled during the conference.

In the last part, executive members and the Head, Arash NoorAghaee, negotiated about the rest of the route.


Latest Newsletter for the 17th WFTGA Convention

As you know, we have less than 30 days to the Opening Ceremony, we are

trying  our best to have a memorable convention for you.

We have prepared the list of Workshops, Lectures, and the things related to

the Visa, Airlines, Delegate meeting and the pre-tour in the newsletter.

Please find the newsletter for the 17th WFTGA Convention here.

If you have any question please contact us in our

skype:  +989036782017

email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon in IRAN.

Best wishes,

17th WFTGA Organizing Team


Iran saw 11.5% increase in US tourist 2016

Iran experienced an 11.5 percent increase in US tourists compared to the previous month in September 2016, said a report in Fortune and Euromonitor International.
The report comes from the US government office for tourism and travel and notes Iran is one of the countries with the largest jumps in the year-to-September, reported.

US passport holders have a harder time in Iran than the nationals of most other countries because they are obliged to have an official guide who accompanies them at any time. Visa procedures are also lengthy.
The report follows similar information published by the tourism authorities of Iran, which last year saw a 12% boom of tourists in the country.

In 2015, the Islamic Republic welcomed around 5.5 million foreign guests. However, 2016 data will not be released until the Iranian New Year in March 2017.
The country, which was recently untried, wants to attract 20 million tourists by 2025 – a figure that many have questioned due to the current lack of facilities for existing numbers of visitors.

US citizens, along with Canadians, have a difficult time in Iran due to the strict vispolitik. Meanwhile, Mexicans, the other North American state, have visa-on-arrival for Iran.

As with many Western tourists who come to Iran, a significant portion of those who enter the country are in the older demographic and comes as part of the organized tours.


Iranian archeologists trace industry footprints around Persian Gulf

Iranian archeologists trace industry footprints around Persian Gulf

Objects excavated in the historic site of Tom Maroon in the province of Hormuzgan on the Persian Gulf suggest that during the Bronze Age the inhabitants of the region were involved in industrial activities such as metalwork, glassmaking and pottery.
The research institute of the Iranian cultural heritage, the arts and tourism organization, quoted the chief of the excavation team Siamak Sarlak, that the archaeologists looked at two oval furnaces, weldments, furnace slags and glass fountains during their excavations.

He also noted that among the objects a glass button-like seal, which may be important for the analysis of economic relations between Tom Maroon and other regions during this period.

He named the objectives of the current excavation phase as the identification of the subsequent cultural epochs of the region, the creation of a chronology of the area, and the definition of the role and importance of the area in shaping cultural relations of the communities on the northern and southern shores of the Persian Gulf The Bronze Age until the Islamic period.
Sarlak quoted other aims of the excavation as an understanding of the instinctive features of the region in developing the cultural perspectives of the communities living in the region, especially in the Bronze Age, carrying out research in the cultural history of the Persian Gulf and collecting new documents The aim is to clarify the historical situation and importance of the Persian Gulf.
The third phase of the explorations will be until the middle of March 2017 in view of the cultural peculiarities of the region and coordination with the Institute of Archeology and Hormuzgan Cultural Heritage, he added.

Sarlak pointed out that in the second season of the excavations about 7.5 meters of accumulated layers and cultural property of the area were questioned. He added that nine main and two subphases of Parthian architecture were identified.

Based on the documents obtained during the exploration of Tom Maroon, Sarlak noted that the most important building material used in the architecture of the Parthian era is large-format adobes with clay mortar.
He said until three decades ago, there were five satellite hills around Tom Maroon, which were now completely leveled to the ground and converted into citrus plantations and currently only a small part of Tom Soltan Miran, 800 meters of Tom Maroon, remained intact.

The archaeologist emphasized that on the basis of the documents received in the excavations on the southern slopes of Tom Maroon, four cultural periods, including the ancient Bronze Age, the Parthian era, the Sassanid era, and the early centuries of the Islamic period were identified .

He said the Persian Gulf is considered one of the important regions in the archaeological studies of Iran and ancient Orient in view of its strategic location.
Archäologische Untersuchungen, die in Hormuzgan, der alten Steinzeit, der alten Bronzezeit, dem Parthischen, dem Sassaniden und den islamischen Epochen (insbesondere den Safaviden) wurden in der Region blühende Kulturen und Zivilisationen existierten.

Tom Maroon befindet sich in der Provinz Hormuzgan in einer fruchtbaren alluvialen Ebene, bekannt als Komiz Plain, umgeben von niedrigen Bergen.


Iran – “the bright star with big tourism potential”
The FINANCIAL – The television news of centrifuges, nuclear power plants and barred negotiations has certainly made the visions of the beautiful beaches on the Caspian Sea, the sun-drenched islands in the Persian Gulf and the cultural sites – Iran is back On the tourist map, according to the regional Leading observers.

There are major challenges, but the decision of many countries to abolish sanctions under the Atomic Energy Agreement has opened up investor potentials like nowhere else.

“Iran is a bright star,” says Nikola Kosutic, Research Director for the Middle East at Euromonitor, the respected international analyst. “The potential is enormous, considering where they are now and what they could achieve in the near future.” Iran is likely to become the leading tourism market in the Middle East and North Africa, provided the infrastructure is capable of developing and coping with changes. “
The full report by Euromonitor International on travel and tourism in Iran outlines the road to the future and the threats of reaching the country’s goal of achieving a huge increase in tourists to $ 35 billion per year by 2025 . Tourism currently less than eight billion dollars.
The report will be a focal point for the opening of the Iran Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (IHTIC) organized by Bench Events on the 7th – February – a new high-level meeting of international investors, consultants and local leaders in the hotel industry, who come together to meet and discuss how the development of the country’s tourism sector.
Iran offers a diversity that is unique in the region, according to the report. Mixing Persian and Arab cultures, the list of attractions is long: from the great city of Isfahan, the mountains of Damavand, the religious tourism site of Mashhad, and the island of Kish While the US has still imposed sanctions, hotel groups based outside the US have already begun to intervene. The French Accor group was the first in 2016. Others follow, including the UAE Rotana and Spain’s Melia. It is expected that by 2018, Iran will have six different international brands.

In response, the country is striving to develop its infrastructure including airport capacities in Tehran, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad and Shiraz. Iranian Airlines has bought more aircraft as international carriers are focusing on the market, including British Airways, which recently launched daily flights to Tehran.
But there are weaknesses, according to the Euromonitor report. Airport capacity is still limited and more investment is required. The hotel market is massive under supply often with poorly trained staff. And Internet infrastructure – especially online payment systems – is underdeveloped as a result of bank transactions. Online sales are declining, but pick up quickly. The slow but gradual improvement of the domestic currency of Iran also helps.
The report says the current Iranian government wants to promote international tourism – apart from everything else, it needs the revenue. It supports – politically and financially – an organization of cultural heritage for the coordination of 160 projects, including hotels. And it is advertising abroad.
But in many international eyes, Iran remains at the centre of regional unrest of which it is a key player. Potential tourists will have to be convinced.
Nikola Kosutic believes that she can be. With culture, ecotourism and skiing, there are attractions about age groups. Enough to compete against many regional goals, especially Egypt, Dubai, Oman and Turkey, the latter of which was recently confronted with an increase in terrorism. Iran is a safe target.
The largest source markets are Iraq and Azerbaijan at the moment, but the strongest growth has come from countries in Europe, and the Americans are also returning after decades of Iranian isolation. Nikola predicts that Russians will also arrive in large numbers. Visa procedures are relaxed – Iran has begun 30-day visas for tourists from 58 countries on arrival.
It is not so easy for investors. A reliable local partner – to navigate bureaucracy, rivalry and even corruption – is crucial. Without one, the task is impossible


Italian Photographer Portrays Use of Science and Math in Persian Architecture
The Italian photographer Massimo Rumi spent a month admiring the breathtaking ancient mosques and bazaars of Iran, taking stunning photographs of Islamic buildings that show how Persian architects used science and mathematics in their works.

According to an IFP report, these breathtaking images show how a photographer explored Iran for one month to understand science and mathematics behind the “divine beauty” of Islamic buildings.
After reading an article on the use of certain conditions and geometries in Persian architecture, Massimo Rumi was fixed on the idea of traveling from his home country Italy to Iran.
He took his trip in November 2016 and only intended that it remain for 10 days, but the travel freedom in Iran and friendliness of the locals, made him decide to stay longer, Daily Mail reported.
During this time, the photographer visited the oldest and most breathtaking mosques and bazaars in the world.
He said, “Iran’s visit has always been to me, not only to admire the incredible mixture of colors and geometric patterns of many Iranian buildings, but to learn more about one of the oldest civilizations in the world.”
“The holy grail of Persian architecture are Isfahan and Shiraz, but everywhere you go you find something that will surprise and amaze you.”
Here are some his wonderful photos of Persian architecture:


Foreign Tourists in Iranian Traditional Medicine Centres

Iran intends to present its traditional medicine to the world by founding specialized health centres.

For a long time, Iran is a health tourism destination for foreign people who wanted to do cosmetic surgeries, or to be treated for refractive disorders, infertility, etc.
Now, Iran wants to present its traditional medicine through the establishment of dedicated health care centers where people can undergo traditional treatments and buy the herbal medicines they need.
“Foreign health tourists sign up where the Iranian patients are doing.You are usually less aware of such a science, some of whom have already heard of Iranian methods of breathing, apitherapy and leech therapy,” said Mohammad Panahi, the general director of the Department of Health Tourism In Iran’s cultural heritage, crafts and tourism organization (ICHTO).
According to a report from the Iranian newspaper “Farsi”, he said: “There should be standards for the supply of medicinal plants, pharmaceutical products and distillates to meet the needs of the customers, we should all try to gain the confidence of the patients, To expand the circle of health tourists who are relying on traditional medicine.
Panahi noted that while some tourists know nothing about Iranian traditional medicine, some others have tried it and are worried about the consequences, so they are looking for a fully certified center. Some tourists go to health centers just to gather information on the subject. The costs are the same for domestic and foreign patients.

The least harmful method
“Not only is the chemical drugs less known among humans, their combinations with each other and their use in amounts more or less than what is prescribed can also be harmful.” The process of traditional treatment takes more time but the herbal medicines in this Method are the least harmful, “Panahi noted
“Medicinal plants are prescribed in traditional medicine in the form of herbal medicinal products, made by new technologies or old medicines, but in any case they are prescribed by a traditional doctor,” he added.
“As people believe that there is no harm in consuming fruits and vegetables, they have confidence in traditional medicine,” added the manager of first Iranian traditional medicine centre.
“75% of patients who go to house doctors do not need medication or can be cured by self-prescribed drugs when they are trained in self-care,” said Mahmoud Khodadoust, the former Iranian Deputy Minister of Health and Medical Education in the Department of Traditional Medicine, during the opening of the province of Alborz traditional medicine center, which is the most prominent in the recovery of health tourists.
He added that Iranians tend to believe in traditional medicine, referring to the existence of 10,000 traditional physicians and 15,000 apothecaries.


Iran to host 306 tour guides in 2017 biggest tourism event

Iran will host 306 tour leaders from 45 countries at the 17th ‘WFTGA Convention: Iran’ which is scheduled for February.
According to Arash Nouraqaei, who heads the Iranian Guild of Tour Leaders, the event will be the biggest of its kind in 2017.

He added that the meeting offers the best opportunity for Iran to introduce its tourism potential at the highest level in the world, because the tourists who attend the event, in fact, tourism ambassador, the embassy of Iran to the world To be conveyed.
In the last 34 years, in which the event showed 16 editions, no high-ranking official visited, while Iran will for the first time host high-ranking officials including Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai, the official added.
Earlier, member of the Iranian Association of Tour Guides’ Associations Oveis Kiyani said that international travel leaders from all over the world would travel to Iran to participate in the “17th WFTGA Convention: Iran”.
He encouraged officials from all relevant fields such as construction and administrative co-operation in preparing for the event.

He said that the guests would have the opportunity to get acquainted with the tourist capacities of Iran and then return groups of tourists to Iran to return to their own countries.
WFTGA is a not-for-profit organization that is committed to promoting high standards of education and ethics in the profession.

The event takes place in the northwest city of Zanjan in February 2017 for two weeks, Nouraqaei said.
The WFTGA aims to build contacts with tour guides all over the world, strengthen their professional ties and promote and protect the interests of professional tour guides; To represent professional tourist guides internationally and to improve the quality and reputation of the profession of tourist guides worldwide.

The WFTGA events take place every two years.


40 states invited to ‘Mashhad 2017’ cultural event


More than 250 foreign guests and ambassadors from 40 countries have been invited to take part in ‘Mashhad 2017’ cultural event on January 24, 2017.
Saeed Sarabi, Director General of the Province of Khorasan Razavi, announced that 14 ministers from Islamic countries as well as 20 dignitaries, including former ministers and officials, were invited to the ceremonial ceremony in addition to the mayors of the big cities.
He said about 150 cultural personalities, media managers and directors from different ministries are among the domestic participants.
The official predicts that about 120 Islamic figures will participate in the cultural event.

Mashhad was chosen as the Asian cultural capital of the Islamic world in 2017 by the Islamic educational, scientific and cultural organization on Sunday.