Tourism Contribution to Iran’s Economy Promising

Tourism Contribution to Iran’s Economy Promising Tourism Contribution to Iran’s Economy Promising

A 2017 report by World Travel and Tourism Council shows promising improvements in the country’s tourism industry, which is attributed to the tactful policies set by President Hassan Rouhani.

As reported by the official website of WTTC, the direct contribution of travel and tourism industry to Iran’s gross domestic production was 367 trillion rials ($9.6 billion) in 2016, constituting 2.9% of the total GDP. The figure is forecast to rise by 7.5% in 2017.

According to the report, travel and tourism directly supported 559,000 jobs (2.2% of total employment) in 2016. The figure is expected to rise by 4.9% in 2017.

The report also shows 107 trillion rials worth of investment in travel and tourism in 2016, which constitute 3.3% of total investments ($2.8 billion). It is predicted to rise by 6.3% in 2017.

Despite the promising figures, Iran is still lagging behind many regional countries in terms of tourism revenues.

Based on WTTC’s statistics, the direct contribution of travel and tourism to Turkey’s GDP was $29.1 billion in 2016, which was 4.1% of total GDP and is forecast to rise by 2% in 2017.

With $21 billion in direct contribution (3.3%), Saudi Arabia’s tourism revenue is a step behind Turkey. WTTC forecasts the figure to rise by 2.9% in 2017.

The direct contribution of tourism to GDP of the UAE was $18.7 billion (5.2%) in 2016 and will rise by 3.2% in 2017.

These countries are popular destinations of Iranians and have been able to exploit Iran’s outbound tourism market effectively.

However, Iran has not managed to receive in return a proportionate number of visitors from these states, which could be linked to lack of marketing, inefficient travel services and poor infrastructure.

Iran’s ultimate goal is to attract 20 million foreign tourists annually by 2025. With such powerful rivals in the region, the figure appears to be a tough target.

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