“Jewels of Persia” Tour to Boost Iran’s Tourism

February 12, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. travel agency /ˈtræv əl ˈeɪ dʒən si/ (n.) – a business that helps travelers with ticket and travel arrangements
Example: I called the travel agency to ask about available tour packages.

2. itinerary /aɪˈtɪn əˈrɛr i/ (n.) – the list of places to be visited in a tour or planned trip
Example: The itinerary shows the 14 places we will visit in the tour.

3. maiden /ˈmeɪd n/ (adj.) – being the first or the initial
Example: The maiden ship finished its first tour last Sunday.

4. smoothly /smuðli/ (adv.) – in an easy way and without problems or delays
Example: Our trip will go smoothly if we plan it well.

5. factor in /ˈfæk tər ɪn/ (v.) – to consider something in making a decision
Example: The weather forecast was factored in when we planned the trip.


Read the text below.
Iran’s tourism is expected to rise with the launching of a train tour called “Jewels of Persia.”

UK-based travel agency Golden Eagle Luxury Trains manages the “Jewels of Persia” tour. With the train’s successful first trip in October 2014, the agency has scheduled eight more trips in 2015. The two-week itinerary includes various sites in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Iran.

Tim Littler, the agency’s owner, feels proud with the new journey his firm offers. He joined the tourists in the train’s maiden trip that traveled from October 14 to 28. Littler said that everything went smoothly. The only delay that happened was from the extra time spent by the local authorities’ in welcoming the tourists.

The trip is offered in two routes–eastbound and westbound. Eastbound starts at Budapest, Hungary and ends in Tehran, Iran. Its westbound route works the other way around. Most of the passengers in the first trip were from Europe, Australia, and the United States. A ticket may cost between $13,595 and $37,995, depending on the type of accommodation.

Golden Eagle’s project manager Ian Lomas said Iran’s recent investment programs on its tourism was factored in with the planning of “Jewels of Persia.” He said that it is beneficial for the company to be the first to offer a rail tour that will showcase Iran. The company took more than 14 months to prepare before the tour’s launching.

According to Bahman Zenhari, marketing executive of Pasargad Tours in Iran, tour demands increased by 350 percent in 2013. It was after the replacement of former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad [mah-MOOD ah-mah-DIH-nee-zhahd], who claims that the Holocaust was a lie.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Would you be willing to pay a huge amount of money to avail of this trip? Why or why not?
·         Are you interested in visiting Iran and its tourist spots? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you find traveling an enjoyable experience? Why or why not?
·         What are the factors you consider before going on a trip? Kindly discuss your answer.

February 12, 2015