Activist countries

Neighboring countries are main source of Iranian tourism: deputy minister

TEHRAN — Citizens of neighboring countries have been the main source of tourism for Iran since coronavirus restrictions were eased several months ago, Deputy Tourism Minister Ali-Asghar Shalbafian said.

He made the remarks at the World Tourism Industry Conference, held in Seoul, South Korea, on June 23, ISNA reported on Tuesday.

“A turning point in the country’s tourism trend in the post-coronavirus period is the reception of tourists from neighboring countries,” he explained.

Iranian tourism has also witnessed a boom in domestic tourism and a large number of Iranian citizens traveling during the Persian New Year (Noruz) holiday, the increase in the number of inbound tourists following the reissue of visas and the facilitation of requirements. for tourists. in the post-coronavirus time, the official added.

A number of executive measures have been taken during the pandemic to ensure the survival of tourism, including mass vaccination against coronavirus which has led to a reduction in the death rate of coronavirus patients, and the management and support of activists tourism, he noted.

As one of the themes of the conference was ecotourism, Shalbafian also discussed the activities of Iran’s National Committee on Ecotourism, Iran’s approach to tourism development using natural resources and the success of establishing ecotourism. eco-lodges across the country.

Last year, the Ministry of Tourism announced that the country’s tourism was growing before the corona epidemic, its income reached 11.7 billion dollars in 2019, which represented 2.8% of GDP, se approaching the average share of tourism in world GDP, which was 3.2%. .

Iran has been ranked as the second fastest growing country in tourism based on data compiled by the World Tourism Organization.

Experts expect Iran to achieve a tourism boom after the coronavirus comes under control, saying its impact would be temporary and short-lived for a country that ranked third among fastest growing tourist destinations. faster in 2019.

The Islamic Republic expects to benefit from its many tourist sites such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, public baths, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers and mansions, of which 26 are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Under the Tourism Vision 2025 plan, Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

ABU/AFM