Q: Tell us about smarTours.
A: Founded in 1996, smarTours is dedicated to providing high-quality yet great value travel experiences all over the world. Our trips cover the most interesting destinations across the globe and all include airfare, high-quality hotels, expert guides, and sightseeing. We have served nearly 200,000 travelers.
Q: What sets you apart from competitors?
A: smarTours is one of the very few international travel providers that focuses on providing affordable-priced experiences. Most other companies lose sight of the importance of keeping travel accessible to the average American. And on top of our value focus, we carefully curate each trip and make sure they have truly special experiences for our travelers.
Q: What is the most popular destination you offer?
A: It’s always changing! Right now, Iceland is extremely popular, but depending on the year, it can be China, Peru, South Africa, or Cuba!
Q: Tell us what people can expect on a trip to Iran.
A: They can expect an eye-opening trip filled with beautiful architecture, incredible ancient sites, and unparalleled hospitality. I think people will be most struck by their interactions with the Iranian people — their openness, their curiosity, and their excitement to be interacting with Americans. Our Product Manager, Nancy Stern, just returned and she described it as the best trip of her life.
Q: Why is traveling in a group here recommended?
A: It’s not just recommended, but it’s required to go through a tour operator in order to obtain a visa as a US citizen. Beyond the requirement, going on a guided tour gives you the comfort of being with a group and the tremendous learning benefit of having an expert guide.
Q: What are the challenges you face as a company traveling here?
A: The biggest challenge is dealing with certain misconceptions that many Americans have about safety. We take safety tremendously seriously, and there are many destinations that we do not send travelers to out of concern about safety. That said, Iran has proven to be extremely safe and welcoming for the American travelers. The perception that many have is quite different than the reality.
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