TEHRAN – Medical tourism should be facilitated and promoted in central Qom province after the coronavirus crisis ends, the provincial tourism chief said.
In the post-coronavirus era, foreign tourists will need different medical services from the past, and there is a need to make the necessary arrangements to meet these requirements, Alireza Arjmandi said on Saturday, citing CHTN.
Arab states in the Persian Gulf are interested in visiting Iran and in particular the holy city of Qom, which presents a good opportunity for planning health tourism, the official added.
Expo 2020 Dubai, which is currently underway in the United Arab Emirates, also provides a great opportunity to promote Qom as a destination for medical tourism, he noted.
Considering the province’s health care capacity, the exhibition is a great opportunity to market health tourism, he said.
In September, the official announced that a number of Qom masters and craftspeople were planning to participate in the Dubai Expo.
During the exhibition, artisans will showcase their works in the fields of handmade rings, miniatures, statues and woodcarving through live performances, he mentioned.
It is also an opportunity for the producers of Sohan, the most famous souvenir in the province, to reach the required market with the proper packaging and quality, as well as the live cooking of Sohan during the exhibition, a explained the manager.
Sohan is a traditional saffron caramel, which is mainly produced in the city of Qom. Made from flour, sugar, wheat germ, egg yolks, butter, rose water, saffron, cardamom and pistachios or slivered almonds, Sohan comes in different forms, flavors and qualities and is distributed throughout the country.
Qom has been designated as the National City of Handmade Rings, as nearly 1,200 artisans and craftspeople are active in the production of handmade jewelry and rings in workshops across the province.
The semi-precious stone mines, which are scattered across the province, are also one of Qom’s potentials to be developed in this field of craftsmanship. Besides domestic travelers, foreign tourists, mainly from Arab countries and states bordering the Persian Gulf, have traditionally been the main customers of these artisanal products.
Second holy city in the country after Mashhad, Qom is home to both the magnificent sanctuary of Hazrat-e Masumeh (SA) and the main religious madrasas (schools). Besides tourists and pilgrims who visit Qom to pay homage to the holy shrine, the city is also a prime destination for Shia scholars and students who come from all over the world to learn Islamic studies in its madrasas and browse eminent bookstores. religious.
The antiquity of Qom dates back to the Sassanid era (224 CE-651) and several historic mosques, mansions, and natural landscapes have been scattered throughout the city as well as nearby towns and villages.
Medical tourism in Iran
The developing health tourism industry is one of the most important areas of the travel industry in Iran, which is trying to prove its capabilities and capabilities in attracting medical and health tourists to the country.
Many domestic experts believe that medical tourism in Iran is a win-win opportunity for both the country and foreign patients, as they are offered affordable but quality treatment services and the country earns considerable foreign exchange.
Iran’s two most popular medical tourist cities are Tehran and Mashhad, but the coronavirus outbreak has drastically reduced the number of travelers.
Iran is one of the main health tourism destinations in the region, and patients of 55 different nationalities, mainly from neighboring countries including Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman , Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan seek to use Iran’s services and facilities in this area.
Iranian hospitals admitted nearly 70,000 foreign patients in the Iranian calendar year 1397 (March 2018 – March 2019) and made an economic contribution of around $ 1.2 billion to the country, according to the tourism department. medical department of the Ministry of Health.
In April 2018, the rotating presidency of the International Health Tourism Conference of the Organization for Economic Cooperation (ECO) was given to the Islamic Republic for a three-year term.
Mohammad Jahangiri, who chairs a national center for the development of health tourism, said in May 2018 that Iran can earn $ 7 billion a year in medical and health tourism, although the sector now only reports one seventh, or even less, of the sum.
The Islamic Republic has set a target of exceeding the number of annual medical travelers to around 2 million in Iran’s 1404 calendar year.
Expo 2020, an opportunity to promote Iranian tourism and crafts
Expo 2020 Dubai opened on September 30 with a lavish ceremony of fireworks, music and messages about the power of global collaboration for a more sustainable future.
The Iran Pavilion at the World Expo is intended to showcase the strengths and assets of each Iranian province in terms of tourism, cultural heritage, crafts, as well as its natural sites, traditional ceremonial practices and significance. historical.
Many countries and companies are also looking to the exhibition – the first major global event open to visitors since the coronavirus pandemic – to boost trade and investment.
According to the organizers, the Expo, an exhibition of culture, technology and architecture under the banner “Connecting minds and creating the future”, should be a demonstration of ingenuity and a place where global challenges such as climate change, conflict, and economic growth can be tackled together.
Persian Gulf state has relaxed most coronavirus restrictions, but Expo requires face masks to be worn and visitors over 18 to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or test negative .
Iran expects to take advantage of its many tourist sites such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, public baths, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers and mansions, of which 26 are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
ABU / MG