Iran earns $6 billion from Tourism industry

Iran earns $6 billion from Tourism industryIran earns $6 billion from Tourism industry

Iranian Vice President and Head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) Masud Soltanifar announced that Iran earned $6 billion in revenue from tourism industry and that 300,000 tourists have visited the country in the past Iranian calendar year (ended on March 20).

Addressing the meeting of provincial cultural heritage, handicrafts and tourism office in Sitan-Baluchistan Province, Soltanifar introduced Shahr-e Sukhteh ‘The Burnt City’ - an archaeological site of a Bronze Age urban settlement located in the province- as the latest place from Iran to be registered on the World Heritage List of UNESCO in July 2014 and announced a ceremony to be held in Tehran before the end of this Iranian year (March 2015)to commemorate this event.

The global tourism industry generated more than $1250 billion revenue in the year 2013 to which Iran contributed only 0.5%. Underlining the economical importance of tourism Soltanifar said this figure must increase to at least 3% “considering Iran’s tourism potentials.”

The vice president said the tourism industry has moved past recession thanks to the attention diverted to it in the new government policies, with Shiraz and Isfahan attracting the maximum tourists compared to the other cities.

He also blamed the sanctions imposed on Iran for creating difficulties for tourists. “The tourists’ credit cards are not valid in Iran; therefore we are planning provisions to help them draw Iranian currency from their bank accounts on arrival at the airports,” he announced.

Regarding the carpet industry, he said 32 million people are working in the carpet weaving industry across the country. Calling the Iranian carpet, a “valuable global commodity”, he said the revenue from carpet exports in the last Iranian year was $1 billion which with proper measures, is expected to rise to $3 billion in the current year (ending March 2015), he added.

Stating that there are more than 1100 three-star hotels throughout the country, Soltanifar called for investors to use the facilities provided by the National Development Fund to invest in construction of four and five star hotels especially in the coastal region to better promote the 3000 kilometer coastal line in south of Iran. He said the 900 tourism projects currently underway in different parts of the country have made 40% progress.