Lackluster Leisure Tourism

Lackluster Leisure Tourism  Lackluster Leisure Tourism

Although the number of incoming tourists to Iran has experienced a gradual increase over the past few years, only a small proportion visited Iran to for leisure and sightseeing.

According to Mohammad Moheb Khodaei, tourism deputy at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, out of the total 4.9 million foreign tourists entering the country during the last fiscal year (ended March 20), "merely 429,000 came to visit historical and cultural heritage attractions," CHTN reported.

"Pilgrims account for the majority of incoming tourists with 2.3 million people traveling for religious purposes over the period," he said. Those who traveled to Iran to visit their relatives were ranked next and made up some 1.1 million tourists.

Other groups of tourists included business travelers (half a million), those who seek medical services (273,000), eco tourists (149,000) and those who travel for education purposes (95,000).

Apparently, such analyses could reveal push and pull factors in Iran's tourism industry, providing the officials with an insight into the weak points hampering the growth of the tourism sector.

The lower-than-expected number of tourists showing interest in the country's historical sites, sheds light on minimal efforts devoted to marketing and promoting the country's unique and rich historical treasure.

To realize the stated goal of attracting 20 million tourists by 2025, there is yet a long way to go. Besides advertising tourist attractions, the sector is in dire need of developing infrastructure, improving hotel management standards, providing urban facilities, offering comprehensive package tours and moderating prices.  


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