UNWTO: Iran tourist arrivals rise 50% to top 7 million in 2018

Financial Tribune – Iran hosted 7.29 million foreign tourists in 2018, about 50% more compared with the year before, according to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization.

The country had a 2.1% share of global tourist arrivals and more than 22% in South Asia last year.

A total of 4.86 foreign tourists visited Iran in 2017, 1.5% less compared to the year before.

Deputy Minister of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Vali Teymouri recently said 4.1 million foreign tourists visited Iran during the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Aug. 22).

“The visits were made despite the threats and challenges facing the country,” Teymouri was quoted as saying by Radio Eqtesad.

An earlier report by World Travel and Tourism Council indicates that Iraq was the main source of tourism for Iran last year, as Iraqis constituted 24% of all inbound visitors. Other major sources were Azerbaijan (17%), Turkey (8%), Pakistan (4%) and Bahrain (2%). The remaining 46% came from the rest of the world.

Although rising tensions between Washington and Tehran are hitting visitor numbers, especially from Europe, the increasing number of travelers arriving in Iran for religious and medical purposes is making up for the loss.