Iran Eyes 40 Markets

Iran Eyes 40 MarketsIran Eyes 40 Markets

In line with Iran’s ambitious tourism goals, tourism officials have targeted 40 international markets to promote Iran’s tourism potential and attract tourists in droves.

In meeting on Saturday between tourism deputy at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, Morteza Rahmani Movahed, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, Movahed said, “We have targeted 40 international markets and ranked them based on certain indices.” He did not disclose the names of the countries, however.

The indices included per capita income, number of outbound tourists and the level of political and economic ties with Iran, IRNA reported.

“To attract tourists, Iran needs to target specific markets based on the needs and interests of tourists,” he said.

“We need to play it smart. In order to select the target markets, we had to pinpoint the country’s strengths and weaknesses first.”

Movahed said other factors, such as the number of Iranian expatriates living in a target country, population, and social and cultural development were taken into account.

Iran launched nine tourist information offices in eight countries in April. The offices serve two main purposes: They attract tourists by promoting Iran’s plethora of attractions and provide Iranian tourism officials with important information regarding the interests and needs of potential tourists.

“By the end of the current Iranian year [March 19, 2016], we will have 25 offices abroad, which will no doubt help strengthen bilateral ties between Iran and the target countries,” he said.

Movahed invited the ministry officials to help the organization achieve its goals by providing it with important information pertaining to the indices used for the rankings.

Last week, Movahed said developing tourism is a priority of the government.

Iran has targeted 20 million tourists by 2025 in accordance with the country’s Vision Plan, which could potentially rake in $30 billion for the country.

There are 17 UNESCO-listed heritage sites in Iran. Add to that the country’s unique climate, long history, rich culture and renowned hospitality, Iran has all the makings of a top tourist destination. Nevertheless, the country has yet to realize its potential, as evidenced by its meager share of global tourism revenue—0.5%.

Head of ICHHTO, Masoud Soltanifar, has repeatedly made known his organization’s intention to boost Iran’s income to 3% of global tourism revenue.

One of the fastest growing economic sectors, tourism generated $1.5 trillion in export earnings in 2014 and the figure is expected to grow in 2015. It is no wonder then that Iran is committed to taking full advantage of the prospering industry.