The Forum for Partners in Iran's Marketplace

January 2019, No. 90


Kish Island to Admit 8 Million Tourists

Addressing a ceremony to mark ‘Kish Day’ Secretary of High Council of Free Trade Zones (FTZ) Morteza Bank announced plans to attract 8 million tourists within the next one and a half years.

Aban 20 (November 11) has been designated as ‘Kish Day’. The choice of November 11 came from the secretary who believes this time of the year is more appropriate for visiting the Kish Island.

Local officials hope that the prevailing foreign exchange conditions and the growing cost of foreign travels will encourage Iranian tourists to visit Kish instead of foreign destinations.

Speaking at the event which was being held for the first time, Bank hoped that the designation of November 11 will lead to the preservation and development of local communities and the empowerment of the local community. He noted that 2 million tourists visit the island annually, adding that with the development of facilities such as the airport, the island is ready to accommodate 8 million tourists, which he hoped would be accomplished in one or one and a half years. Bank called Kish a strategic area and emphasized: “With the existence of harbors and 50 hotels, 10 of which are 5 stars, and the creation and proper exploitation of the maritime routes this strategic tourism destination of the region can be boosted.”

Nasser Sharifi, the representative of the people of Bandar Lengeh, Bastak and Parsian at Majlis, called the Kish Island the fourth tourism destination in southwestern Asia, noting: “Kish has an exceptional capacity in the country. It can act as the driving engine of the economy and the development of an all-encompassing part of the country. Under conditions that thoughtlessness and unilateralism of a business-minded individual at the top of the United States has targeted the Iranian economy, Kish can be turned into Iran’s window to the outside world by taking sound and wise actions.” He said tourism was the only way to public diplomacy, adding: “Tourists can be good ambassadors for Iran by visiting this safe region.”

He regretted however that there is no comprehensive look at the free trade zones in Iran. The Kish Island has come out of coma but needs to redefine the areas of opposition, especially tourism, and redefine the outlook towards investors and the private sector.


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  January 2019
No. 90