October 9, 2018 – Mahmood Poonja – “Travelling in Iran” at the Arbutus Club

Founded in 1978, Bestway Tours & Safaris is one of the earliest established national tour operators in Canada serving North Americans and travelers from across the world. It was a venture started by three brothers who, whilst all being born and brought up in Africa, had formative years of higher education in different countries of Asia and Europe. The experience they each had made them realize that there was considerable ignorance of the different cultures, people and countries in the world. They felt it was their mission to rectify this which led to the birth of Bestway Tours & Safaris. They put together journeys delving into different aspects of a country: the great sites, historic monuments, natural beauty wildlife and, most importantly, the local people. They make you experience their customs first hand. From the eastern shores of Indochina across Southeast, South and Central Asia, to the Middle East, Europe and the Americas – not forgetting, of course, the home continent of Africa. All this in small group tours to experience the culture and the people.

IRAN is one of the oldest civilizations in the world and it faces unsurmountable challenges in marketing itself as a tourist destination. Our speaker, Mahmood Poonja, Chief Explorer with Bestway Tours & Safaris, will give an insight into how Iran tried to reinstate its tourism industry which collapsed after the Iranian revolution of 1978-79. He will also touch on how, in 1996, Vancouver based Bestway Tours & Safaris became the first tour operator allowed to operate tours for North Americans to Iran. Among other things a background on the historical and cultural heritage of the Persian civilisation as well as the importance of the historical Silk Road to Iran will be part of his talk. The presentation will also have an audio visual component showing some of the most important historical sites in Iran.

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