Iraq providing Iran with largest number of pilgrim-tourists

TEHRAN, Jan. 17 (MNA) – The incoming tourist figures has indicated more than 60 per cent of the tourists seek religious pilgrimage as their major objective.

Morteza Rahmani Movahed, Tourism deputy of the Cultural Heritage Organization said that the majority of pilgrim-tourists came Iran from Shia-majority countries such as Iraq.

“A larger portion of annual budget of the Organization is allocated to upkeep and maintenance of religious mausoleums and shrines, which are the main destination of domestic tourism as well; Iraq, with a majority Shia population, is the first country to provide Iran with the largest number of pilgrim-tourists,” he added.

“Last year, 1.8 million people travelled Iran; a workgroup was established to ‘organize and address the pilgrimage tourism issues,’ mainly of Iraqi pilgrims; the Tourism deputy established the workgroup to coordinate effort of different organizations involved in the process; the workgroup has met in four sessions so far,” Rahmani Movahed noted.

“The number of pilgrim-tourists has been in gradual rise thanks to facilities provisioned in visa issuance, establishing airline routes, holding conferences, better information, and effective foreign policy by the government,” he said.

“Of more than 8,000 religious pilgrimage shrines and mausoleums, half of them has been registered in the National Heritage List,” Rahmani Movahed concluded.

By Mehr News Agency

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