Long seen as a destination strewn with shortcomings, Iran is making a fresh pitch for tourists, with the recent lifting of economic sanctions providing an opportunity to cash in.The tourism industry has been overlooked by successive governments in Tehran but the deal Iran struck with world powers over its nuclear programme last summer could change that.Along with nine companions including Americans and Germans, China-based Frenchman Yannick Lequelenec said he aimed to make “one unique journey” every year. For 2016, he chose Iran.”My family told me I was crazy, but people have been welcoming and very friendly,” he said in Tehran of his one-week trip taken over the Chinese New Year holidays.Eram Garden is a popular tourist draw in Shiraz, Iran. Photo: AlamyADVERTISING Tourists, and the healthy revenues they could generate, are among the huge economic changes stemming from the nuclear deal.Ski resorts, Unesco-listed world heritage sites and deserts combine with cities steeped in Middle Eastern grandeur and tradition.A tourism push was launched after President Hassan Rouhani came to power in 2013, ending the hardline era of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during which Iran’s international isolation deepened.
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