Speaking with IRNA, Baker, Golden Eagle Luxury Trains, said that their customers were impressed by the “people of Iran and their hospitality.”
'A lot of our customers and tour operators were surprised by how friendly and welcoming everyone was in Iran. Therefore it upsets us to see a negative image is painted in the media,' said said.
The Marketing manager for Golden Eagle Luxury Trains said, 'We ran our first trip to Iran in October 2014 and the tour was sold out in 3 weeks which surprised us.
“Of course we were not sure how it would take off in certain markets that we have, but everyone was so keen to travel, which was fantastic.”
Asked why the company chose Iran as a tourism destination, she said: 'Our president has always been enthusiastic about travelling to destination that are unknown to tourists; With Iran he saw that as an opportunity because he travelled to Iran before and he has seen hospitality of the people there and therefore he thought it is a brilliant opportunity to take the train through Turkey into Iran.
She added, 'The next tour to Iran is departing in November this year which starts from Moscow and goes to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and enters Iran from Turkmenistan border.'
Baker said the train will pass through the cities of Mashad, Yazd, Isfahan, Shiraz and Tehran. However the ‘heart of Persia’ which is due to be introduced tour has more stops in Iran including Kashan, Yazd etc.
Baker added, 'Every time our president sees something new [in Iran] he wants to add it to the itinerary.'
In response to how much the ticket fares are, she said, 'Different routs have different prices however for example ‘Heart of Persian’ [tour] is 14 days and that includes two nights in Tehran which starts at $16,495 per person.”
The manager for Golden Eagle Luxury Trains added that the ticket, for the upcoming journey to Iran is being sold through various tour operators however, she stressed that from what she has heard so far the sales are going very well.
Baker added that initially there were mixture of travelers going to Iran however this year a large proportion of travelers are Americans and people from Western countries speaking English.
Asked about the prospect of future tours to Iran, Baker said, 'We are extremely excited about the prospect of the major airlines that are now returning back to Iran. We can see the tourism to Iran increasing so we are very positive about the future.