Iran is hoping for an economic boost from tourism following the recent nuclear deal with the West. As Hayley Platt reports the country bought its biggest delegation yet to the World Travel Market in London to drum up business and investment.
Stunning scenery - lush landscapes and crystal clear seas - much of it unspoiled. This may not be the image many have of Iran but it's one the country is keen to sell. With the lifting of western economic sanctions, Iran is hoping to lure in tourists, even ones keen on skiing. It's sent its biggest delegation yet to the World Travel Market in London. Saeed Azam is from Iran Doostan Tours. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRAN DOOSTAN TOURS, PRIVATE TOUR OPERATOR, MARKETING MANAGER, SAEED AZAM, SAYING: "Iran is a four season country so anytime they like to come we have a special package for them." Tourists will need a visa which isn't easy. But the government is working on that - it wants to quadruple the number of visitors to 20 million by 2025. Paul Nelson is from the World Travel Market. (SOUNDBITE) (English) PAUL NELSON, PRESS AND PR MANAGER, WORLD TRAVEL MARKET, SAYING: "They're really ready to have those conversations with tour operators, hotel companies, bringing a delegation that's big enough to entice that level of investment." Iran will need to build a lot of new infrastructure - and that means attracting foreign investment. Panmure Gordon's Simon French. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLOBAL CHIEF ECONOMIST, PANMURE GORDON, SIMON FRENCH, SAYING: "The problem for investors looking to play the Iranian fledgling tourist industry is on world economic forum rankings competitiveness and openness for business, Iran has really struggled from being behind the wall of sanctions in recent years. It hasn't opened up it's capital markets economy to investment." Iran made it onto the top destination list of several publications last year. It hopes to follow countries like Croatia and Vietnam - both were once unlikely holiday hotspots.