More Visitors Flock to UNESCO Sites

More Visitors Flock  to UNESCO SitesMore Visitors Flock  to UNESCO Sites

Official statistics suggest that World Heritage Sites in Iran saw a boost in the number of visitors during the Nowruz holidays compared to same period last year, Mehr news agency reported.

Speaking to the news agency, director general for Iran’s World Heritage Affairs (WHA) Farhad Azizi said, “Around 3 million people visited the country’s World Heritage Sites between March 20 and April 12.”

Iran is home to 17 World Heritage Sites, including Persepolis, Golestan Palace, and the Persian Gardens which comprise 9 gardens: Fin, Eram, Dolatabad, Abbasabad, Shazdeh, Akbarieh, Pahlevanpour, Chehel Sotoun, and Pasargadae.

Visitor statistics obtained by the WHA, however, do not include Eram and Dolatabad gardens.

“Since Eram and Dolatabad are not under the management of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), we do not receive visitor reports for those two places,” he noted, adding that Golestan Palace was closed to the public on April 12.

Persepolis in Shiraz Province was the most visited site during the holidays, with some 778,000 people touring the historical ruins, while Golestan Palace in Tehran recorded 303,000 visitors – a 60% increase compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, Fin Garden in Isfahan Province catered to 397,000 people; an 80% rise.

Pahlevanpour Garden in Yazd Province had the least number of visitors among the UNESCO sites, with around 4000 people making their way to the central province to see the site.


According to Azizi, Persepolis earned a total of 6 billion rials ($180,000) through ticket sales, while Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan recorded 4.2 billion rials ($126,000) in revenues. Also, the Behistun Inscription in Kermanshah Province earned 820 million rials ($25,000) during the holidays.

“We are not yet done calculating the total revenue of the World Heritage Sites in Iran, however,” he noted.

“Compared to the previous year, we recorded a 10% to 100% rise in visitors at most UNESCO sites in Iran.”

Since some people get to visit the sites admission-free, he said, ticket sales do not necessarily reflect the real number of visitors.

Iran’s annual tourism income is expected to rise given the country’s tourism capacity and the potential signing of a comprehensive nuclear deal in June between Iran and the P5+1.

According to the ICHHTO chief Masud Soltanifar, Iran’s share of the global tourism income is a meager 0.5%, and the goal is to reach 3% by 2025.

“We have targeted 20 million tourists by 2025 in accordance with Iran’s 20-year Vision Plan, which should earn an estimated $30 billion,” IRIB News quoted him as saying earlier this month.