January 31, 2018

WELCOME THEM ALL:

New wave of Iranian globetrotters hits the road (Ali NOORANI, 30 January 2018, AFP)

A travel frenzy is gripping young Iranians, who are inspiring each other through social media to overcome traditional constraints and expand their horizons.

The exploits of young Iranian travellers, hitchhiking and backpacking their way around the globe, have become immensely popular on Instagram and Telegram, the most widely used apps in Iran, with some gathering more than 200,000 followers.

Iran has long had a globetrotting elite thanks to the large diaspora that fled to the United States and Europe after the 1979 revolution, but now it is the turn of the emerging middle class to stretch their wings, overcoming cultural barriers and parental worries in the process. [...]

Last year, Iran recorded 9.2 million departures, a 38.5-percent increase on the previous year and almost double the numbers a decade ago.

The trend has been helped by President Hassan Rouhani, who came to power in 2013 promising to improve Iran's relations with the world.

Iranians are not welcome everywhere: the United States this year banned them from entry unless they have close family, and European countries have strict and laborious procedures for tourists designed to weed out poor people.

But much of the rest of the world is welcoming Iran's tourist boom, with 38 countries now waiving visas for Iranians.

Posted by at January 31, 2018 5:20 PM

  

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