Tehran, May 14, IRNA – The head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization said that the country has earned $5b in tourism revenues in the last Iranian year (ended March 20).
“Over 1.1b tourists visited across the world and brought in revenues worth over $1.2trillion,” he said.
Soltanifar added that since Iran has 10 percent of world tourist sites, its share of revenues should be at least $100b.
Iran accounts for 1 percent of the world’s population. Therefore, it should earn $12b to $13b in tourism revenues.
This is while, close to 4.5m visitors arrived in Iran in 2013, of which 1m were from Azerbaijan, 1.6m from Iraq and the rest from neighboring nations.“They generated revenues worth $5b for the country,” he said.
“Also, 7m Iranians traveled overseas, of whom 2m visited the holy shrines of Karbala in Iraq, 600,000 conducted Haj rituals in Saudi Arabia, and the rest traveled to neighboring nations and spent $10b.”
This indicates that Iran earned $5b through foreign tourists and spent $10b through overseas traveling.
According to the 2025 Vision, the country should host 20m tourists and earn $25b to $30b, but bilateral tourism between Iran and the other nations has not been in favor of Iran in the past eight years.
“Iran should reach the target in the next 12 years,” he said.
Given the policies of current government in collaboration with other nations and pursuit of détente in international relations, Soltanifar said the arrival of foreign tourist has grown.
“Some 1,600 American tourists entered Iran during April 5-May 21, 2013, which figure has grown this year to 6,400,” he said. Also, performance of European tours has grown by 155 percent. All capacities of European tours for traveling to Iran have been filled for the second half of 2014.
“Currently, they are registering for the first half of 2015,” he said, noting that
the tourism industry targets different types of tourism, including religious, scientific and ecotourism.
“Iran is important as a hub of halal tourism in the region and the world,” he said.
There are 460 handicraft fields world over, of which 352 are productive in Iran.
Annually, 2m sq.m. of carpets are woven in Iran, of which 1.5m sq.m. are exported and the rest is sold in the domestic market.
“Close to 2m people are involved in the handicraft sector of Iran,” he said.
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