ICHHTO official: Tourists in Iran rose by 40% in first quarter
The number of foreign tourists visiting Iran increased by 40 percent during the first three months of the current Iranian year (starting March 21, 2019), compared to the same period last year, said the deputy head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) on Tuesday.
In an interview with IRNA, Vali Teimouri said that two million tourists came to Iran and visited the country’s tourist resorts, historical monuments and spectacular sights in the first three months of this year.
The deputy chief of tourism added that surveys show that the average income from the arrival of each tourist is about $1,357.
The head of ICHHTO, Ali Asghar Mounesan said that about 7.8 million tourists traveled to Iran in the past Iranian year (ending on March 20, 2019), registering 52.5 percent growth compared to the preceding year which was 5.1 million tourists.
Mounesan added, “In the past Iranian year, sanctions affected the tourism sector, but fortunately the regional markets and China were placed on our agenda to attract foreign tourists and neutralized the effects of sanctions.”
Iranian tourism official Mohammad-Ebrahim Larijani highlighted the tourism capacities of Iran, saying that Iran is a favorite destination for religious and health tourists.
Iran is gradually becoming a destination for foreign medical tourists. Hospitals in Iranian cities offer medical and health care services for foreign medical tourists.
Patients from Kuwait, Qatar and other countries prefer Iran for medical treatment which provides facilities more competitive than the European countries.
Over the past 10 years, the number of foreign tourists visiting Iran for medical treatment and health tourism has increased 10 times, Iran’s Deputy Minister of Health and Medical Education said.
“Every year, 300,000 foreign tourists travel to Iran for medical treatment, with a total of $1.2 billion worth of revenues,” said Iraj Harirchi in the inauguration ceremony of the 2nd Economic Cooperation Organization Confabition on Health Tourism.
He named the nationals of neighboring countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan, as the main health tourists coming to Iran.
Harirchi added, “Our goal is to turn Iran into a center for health services in the region, and we can provide health and medical treatment services for the citizens of neighboring and Muslim countries.”