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    Startup Tapping Iran Health Tourism Potentials - Financial Tribune

    Iran - Startup Tapping Iran Health Tourism Potentials - Financial Tribune


    Startup Tapping Iran Health Tourism Potentials - Financial Tribune
    By Mohammad Affianian
    Published Date: Thursday, November 09, 2017

    Renowned for its world-famous historical monuments, UNESCO heritage sites and natural beauty, Iran is expected to be mainly favored by cultural visitors and Nature enthusiasts. Although that's true, other fields of the hospitality sector, such as health tourism, also give the Middle East nation a competitive edge.

    Hoping to capitalize on such potential is an Internet-based startup that, according to its founders, has experienced unexpected success in attracting health tourists since its inception in early summer.

    Speaking to Financial Tribune, Mohammad Nasri, CEO and co-founder of Tehran-based Ariamedtour, said, "From the day we launched our website, we have been inundated with requests from around the globe, including from neighboring countries."

    Drawing on the traditional role of Iran as a regional medical hub, the group is offering professional treatments ranging from cosmetic surgery to general surgeries and cancer treatment.

    "Iran has always been a medical attraction for citizens of neighboring countries, but we are one of the very first firms to streamline those services on an online platform," he said.

    Iran has set the ambitious goal of attracting 20 million foreign tourists annually by 2025, but has largely focused on the country's rich culture and history as well as its natural wonders.

     Comparative Advantage

    In developing its business model, the app is zeroing in on areas that will set them apart from their domestic and regional competitors. First and foremost, says Nasri, is the "transparency" with which the firm is conducting itself.

    "From booking a place up to the moment of departure" is what Nasri calls the "airport-to-airport" experience, which he says involves "no hidden costs".

    "Everything is delineated in detail on our website," he said.

    According to the startup's CEO, what makes Iran health tourism all the more competitive is the "low price" for world-class treatment.

    "Iranian medical industry offers topnotch services at very competitive prices that can be found nowhere else," he said.

    He cites the dexterity of Iranian doctors and health practitioners as another boon to the fast-growing business.

    Most popular services with visitors so far have been infertility treatments, cosmetics surgeries–including rhinoplasty—and hair transplantation.

    Iran has been named the nose job capital of the world, as operations carried out here are seven times more than those in the US.

    Add to it the eye-catching surroundings that give the visitors a mystical experience—a quality not without its healing effects.

    "Visiting Iran per se is relishing for western tourists, as it's a land with 5,300 years of recorded history," Nasri said.

    The startup has received many applications from European and American countries as well as neighbors such as Iraq, Pakistan and Persian Gulf Arab states.

    This has materialized despite obstacles such as banking hurdles with some countries and difficulties in obtaining visa, which Nasri hopes will soon be eased.

      Beyond Extraordinary

    The startup is also hoping to capitalize on the global reputation of Iranians as a "highly hospitable" nation– a feature also inherent in its physicians' attitude toward foreign patients.  

    Visitors' experience includes a "nice traditional Persian meal" on the first night of arrival, which also gives a pleasant surprise to many.

    "I see the glow of satisfaction in the eyes of our clients from the very first day," he says.

    "On the last day, we take a survey from our clients about their experience and this interaction endures between the doctor and the patient for a lifetime," he said.

    Nasri recalls a recent encounter when an Australasian client described his experience as "beyond extraordinary" while giving his feedback on the social media platform WhatsApp.

    About Us

    The word Persia gives the image of a magical and mysterious land of far away and long ago, of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art – carpets, tiles, fine ceramics and miniatures. It also reminds us of legendary and tragic love stories and epic poems about great wars. And Persia is indeed a world ancient and contemporary, a bridge between heaven and earth. We want to show you around. Discover things to do on your next trip to Iran and plan a trip of your lifetime. Yes, it is that easy! This website gives you the tools to plan your trip to Iran: detailed information on destinations; inspiring ideas on what to see and do in each city; where to stay; where to eat; travel guides and let’s say everything you need so you can dream up a trip to Iran.


    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.