Iranian tourists in Sochi

Iranian tourists in Sochi: Photo

At the end of March, during the Nowrooz holiday, a group of Iranian tourists visited the city of Sochi, the venue of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. The guests were accommodated in the coastal part of the city at the Tulip Inn Omega Sochi hotel, located in the immediate vicinity of the Olympic Park. This hotel is traditionally the basic accommodation facility for charter chains of tourists from Tehran. During the trip, tourists had the opportunity to explore not only the Olympic sports facilities, but also to visit the Formula 1 competition track, where they saw the entire «inner kitchen» of the royal races, visited the paddocks, team placements and became direct witnesses of the preparatory work. Exactly a month later, Sochi will host the third stage of the Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix. Some of the Iranian tourists even drove around the closed track in racing cars. 

Tourists were particularly interested in the natural and historical sights of the resort. During the excursions, guests from Iran visited numerous squares and embankments of the city, the seaport, the dacha of Joseph Stalin. Iranians have a special attitude towards Stalin, since the first conference of the «big three» - the leaders of three countries: the United States, Great Britain and the USSR — was held in Tehran in 1943. The Conference became an important stage in the development of international and inter-allied relations, a number of issues of war and peace were considered and resolved at it: issues of granting independence to Iran were discussed (the "Declaration on Iran"). Sochi Park, a theme park for the whole family, the idea of which is based on the rich cultural and historical heritage of Russia, where you can go on incredible adventures in the company of characters from Russian fairy tales and ride rides, also aroused great interest among the guests.

For several days, guests from Iran lived in the mountains, in a comfortable modern hotel with cozy rooms. They were indelibly impressed by the stunning nature of the Caucasian Biosphere Reserve and the Sochi National Park, the Olympic facilities of the mountain cluster. Tourists spent one of the days in Sky Park, an unusual and unique mountain adventure park in Russia, where any visitor can bungee jump or take an exciting walk along the world's longest suspension pedestrian bridge with a length of 439 m. It is here that one of the highest bungee in the world is located — BUNGY 207 m, as well as the world's highest SochiSwing swing 170 m and MegaTroll (a special device made of a system of rollers and a carriage sliding along a metal rope) with a length of 700 m, on which you can reach speeds of up to 150 km /h.

Hotels hosting guests from Iran in Sochi try to make their stay as comfortable as possible, take into account the mentality, traditional Iranian etiquette – ta'ruf, religious characteristics of tourists, food preferences, pay special attention to the set of food and the way they are prepared. At the end of 2015, Iran showed the largest increase in the number of tourists, for the first time entering the top 20 countries-leaders of international arrivals to Russia. Many Russian hotels and travel companies today offer tourists from Muslim countries a «halal-friendly» hospitality program. This concept covers not only halal cuisine, but also offers a comprehensive hospitality program that gives an idea of Russia's ties with the Muslim world, and may include such things as, for example, menus in restaurants in Arabic and Farsi, prayer rooms at hotels, including appropriate attributes for religious rituals.

Sochi has become a very popular tourist destination among Iranian tourists primarily due to the fabulous nature, warm sea, majestic mountains, unique Russian and Caucasian cuisines, sincere hospitality of Sochi residents. The efforts of the government circles of Iran and Russia aimed at the development of tourism and intercultural dialogue between the two friendly peoples also played an important role in this. Due to the fall in the ruble exchange rate, the price of a trip to Russia is now available to a fairly wide range of Iranian citizens, and in Iran the image of Russia is now being actively popularized. In addition, a memorandum on consular cooperation between Iran and Russia has recently entered into force, facilitating the visa regime. Traditionally, the host party in Sochi was the company «Svoy TS», which opened a Russian resort for an Iranian tourist and has been actively promoting Sochi in Iran for the third year. Among the promising Russian destinations where guests from Iran can go in addition to Sochi are also Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kazan.