Despite numerous attractions, Iran needs investments to achieve its full tourism potential.
Despite numerous attractions, Iran needs investments to achieve its full tourism potential.

Tourism Helps Boost Economy, Create Jobs

Tourism and handicrafts industries have the potential to generate jobs with much smaller investments than other sectors
New plans have been proposed to implement changes in visa policy for foreign tourists

Tourism Helps Boost Economy, Create Jobs

Ali Asghar Mounesan, the new head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, has highlighted the role of tourism and handicrafts sector in boosting economic development and creating jobs.
Speaking on the sidelines of the government’s Cabinet meeting, Mounesan said this sector has the potential to create jobs with small investments while other sectors require huge sums to generate employment, Asr Iran reported.
“Each foreign tourist’s contribution to economy is estimated to be equal to that of 30 barrels of oil,” he said. Pointing to new plans to boost tourism and handicraft industries, the official said a plan to create 70,000 potential jobs in the handicrafts sector has been proposed to President Hassan Rouhani.
“For each job in the sector, 500 million rials ($13,000) have been envisioned while in other sectors it would require at least 5 billion rials ($131,000),” he said.
Mounesan also said new plans have been proposed to implement changes in visa policy for foreign tourists.
“We are currently discussing these changes with the Foreign Ministry. These changes include faster visa processing and visa waiver program for certain countries such as Iraq,” he said. The official noted that target countries for visa waiver programs have not been finalized yet. He added that prior to finalizing these target countries, certain diplomatic issues should be considered.
“Mutual cooperation regarding this issue between Iran and target countries is essential,” he said.
Despite having numerous religious, historical, cultural and environmental attractions, Iran is not anywhere close to the point of reaching its full tourism potential, lagging far behind neighboring countries like Turkey. However, the lifting of sanctions following the nuclear deal, alongside worsening security issues in some neighboring countries, has provided a unique opportunity for Iran to attract foreign tourists in recent years.


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