Foreign tourist arrivals fetch Iran $11.8b in calendar year

Tehran Times – International travelers have spent some $11.8 billion in Iran over the past Iranian calendar year 1397 (ended March 20), tourism chief said on Sunday.

“According to the central bank’s latest data, the country’s tourism sector has earned 11 billion and 800 million dollars last year,” Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Director Ali-Asghar Mounesan said, IRNA reported.

“For the time being, the tourism sector is becoming the third largest source of income in the world economy so that more attention should be paid to the sector in our country,” Mounesan said.

Mounesan made the remarks on the sidelines of an opening ceremony for a major tulips festival, adding, “Tourism sector, because of its specific circumstances, has suffered the least damage from the [U.S.-led] sanctions, and therefore tourism can aid Iran’s economy. In addition, the sector indirectly helps to boost social vitality is treasured.”

The official emphasized that the government should attach more importance to the tourism sector, adding, “[problems with] Iran’s tourism industry should be addressed as soon as possible so that it can be a good source of income for the country.”

The number of international tourists visiting Iran surged 52.5 percent in the past Iranian calendar year 1397 from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the CHHTO.

The Islamic Republic hosted some 7.8 million foreign nationals in that year, which shows a 52.5 percent increase year on year.

The 2019 Travel Risk Map, which shows the risk level around the world, puts Iran among countries with “insignificant risk”, a category where the UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, and Finland are placed in.