European tourists of Iran tripled

TEHRAN, Aug. 13(MNA) – An Iranian official released the figures depicting growth in number of Europeans visiting Iran. Deputy Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) announced that the number of European tourists visiting Iran in last Iranian year (March 21, 2014- March 21, 2015) in comparison with the year before has tripled.

Dr. Saeed Shirkavand made the remark in western city of Sanandaj while contributing the upping trend partly to the visa-issuance policies of the recent years.

Referring to world-wide growth in tourism, Shirkavand urged more measure to be taken to develop the industry in Iran.

The Deputy Head of ICHHTO stressed that President Rouhani values tourism too much and is firmly determined to consolidate the tourism infrastructures in Iran.

On Monday, the Head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) and Vice President Massoud Soltanifar recounted that 5.1 million foreigners visited Iran in 2014 while the number is expected to reach 20 million by 2025.

Earlier on August 4, the official broke the news that Iran issues 30-day visa for all coming tourists at all ports of entry into Iran with 15 days more allowance in comparison with formerly 15-day stays.

“Iran’s 20-year vision plan targets attracting 20 million tourists by 2025 which will earn the country $30 billion,” IRIB news had quoted Soltanifar as saying in May. Iran has attached considerable significance to developing its tourism industry in recent years. The country is seen as one of the world’s top potential tourist destinations as it holds countless ancient sites.

Iran hosts Asia’s 4th and the Middle East’s 1st largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is home to 17 historic sites which have been inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List, and has a diverse landscape and its tourism industry offers a myriad of recreational opportunities.

They range from hot mineral water showers in the northwest to hiking and skiing in the Alborz Mountains to magnificent architectural sight-seeing in the center and beach holidays in the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea.

Apart from its glorious ancient sites, the country’s allure lies in its people’s reputation for hospitality.

By Mehr News Agency