Iran opened a visa section Tuesday on its Gulf island of Qeshm to boost tourism to the mainland.
The island is one of the three free trade zones in Iran.
The new Foreign Ministry office in Qeshm, which most foreigners can visit without a visa, allows visitors to secure a visa to the mainland, Iran News Agency (IRNA) reported Tuesday.
"The move was taken because of the growing number of foreign tourists and businessmen traveling to the free trade zones. They faced problem traveling to other parts of the country," Behrouz Boushehri, head of Qeshm free zone, told IRNA.
About 60,000 foreigners visited Qeshm in the year to March, said Reuters.
Iran has been relaxing its relatively tough visa regulations to boost tourism, which currently stands at about one million visitors per year, Reuters added.
The country already has a visa office on Kish Island, a Gulf tourist resort, which is also a free trade zone.
Anyone, except Israeli passport holders, can visit the zones without a visa.
Iran also has a free trade zone in the southeastern port of Chahbahar on the Gulf of Oman - (Agencies)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)