News ID: 260913
Published: 0315 GMT October 30, 2019

Minister: 26% growth in foreign tourists visiting Iran in six months

Minister: 26% growth in foreign tourists visiting Iran in six months

The number of foreign tourists who have visited Iran in the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 21, 2019) increased by 26 percent, in comparison with the same period last year, said Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan.

In comments after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Mounesan said nearly five million foreign tourists visited Iran in the six-month period.

Mounesan also said that the total number of foreign travelers is expected to hit 10 million by the year end (March 20, 2020), Tasnim News Agency reported.

Last month, Mounesan said an upward trend in the tourism industry occurred after Iran diversified its travel and tourism services by supporting medical tourism, agritourism, and hiking tourism.

He also noted that Iran was devising a grand plan to promote the tourism industry under the auspices of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) and UNESCO.

Mounesan has previously said that his country’s tourism industry was enjoying a vigorous momentum, adding that Washington had been unsuccessful in its efforts to dampen the growth in the field.

Iran’s tourism industry is on the right track and progressing well, the minister said.

“In 2017, the number of foreign tourists visiting Iran stood at 4.7 million. In 2018, the number reached 7.7 million, and we witnessed a boom in the first four months of the current year compared to the same period in previous years,” he added.

“Around March 2018, we received a governmental notice warning about the behavior of the US administration and its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, so we started to plan accordingly so that the measures would not affect the number of tourists visiting our country,” Mounesan added.

He said one of these plans was to define new target markets.

“For instance, we implemented a one-way visa waiver with Oman. Recently, we did the same with China,” Mounesan added.

“We have made plans and set our sight on regional markets. As of now, tourists visit Iran for receiving treatment, besides doing pilgrimages. This has brought in a lot of revenues for the country, even more so than revenues brought in by European tourists,” he said.



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