People, Travel

IKIA’s Salam Terminal Slated for 2016

IKIA’s Salam Terminal Slated for 2016IKIA’s Salam Terminal Slated for 2016

Imam Khomeini International Airport’s Salam Terminal is expected to become operational by summer 2016, effectively increasing the airport’s capacity, government news agency Dolat reported.

A delegation consisting of Minister of Roads and Urban Development Abbas Akhoundi, head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, Masoud Soltanifar, and director of Mostazafan Foundation, Mohammad Saeedikia, visited the construction site of the terminal earlier this week to assess its progress.

“The terminal is scheduled for inauguration on Eid al-Fitr,” Akhoundi said.

According to the minister, the project is financed by the National Development Fund  and from the fees paid to IKIA by inbound and outbound flights.

“Iranshahr Terminal will become operational in three years. We are looking for investors at the moment,” the official said.

The two terminals will increase the capacity of IKIA 6-fold; from five million to 30 million passengers.

“Foreign tourists vouch for Iran’s safety and beauty in their interviews with their countries’ media,” Soltanifar said.

As a global halal tourism hub, Iran is targeting 20 million tourists per year by 2025, which could potentially boost revenue by $30 billion.

Over five million foreign tourists visit Iran annually, according to official reports, half of whom travel for religious purposes to visit the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) , the shrine of Fatima Masoumeh (AS), and Shah-Cheragh Mosque.

Experts estimate that by 2025, 10 to 12 million Shia pilgrims will visit Iran. The ambitious figures are attainable only by improving tourism infrastructures. To that end, developing airports will play a key role.