Tourist arrivals in Iran increasing: VP

Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, Masoud Soltanifar

Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, Masoud Soltanifar

Shahr-e Kord, Chahar Mahal va Bakhtiari Prov, March 14, IRNA – Head of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Masoud Soltanifar said arrival of tourists in Iran has remarkably increased in the past two years.

He said that applications for Iranian visas have grown even by four times in some of Iran’s European consular offices.

The same way, he added, the number of foreign tourists visiting Iran in tours has increased since President Hassan Rouhani has been elected to office.

Earlier, Soltanifar had reaffirmed the deep commitment of the goverrnment to actively promote and support the tourism industry.

He said President Rouhani remains strongly determined to promote the country’s tourist economy.

Pledging full support for Iran’s tourism industry, Soltanifar vowed to deepen cooperation with the private tourism sector.

President Rouhani’s general policy is to have widespread contacts with the rest of the world. This is part of the government agenda and one of the most important instruments to promote tourism.

Iran is a country rich in Islamic and historic cultural heritage and can turn into an efficient tourist hub if proper tourist-oriented plans are implemented.

A new trend in tourism has started since some 14 years ago, while foreign diplomacy could be a determining factor in the flourishing of the industry.

The latest statistics by the WTO indicate that the number of foreign tourists who visited Iran in 2013 was 24 percent more than that in the previous year. The related figure in 2014 is definitely higher, though no statistics has been released so far.

Despite such a growth, tourism still has a trivial share of 2.2 percent in Iran’s gross national product. WTO is hoping that the trend would continue to increase annually by 5.7 percent till 2024.