Iran’s 3-month tourist arrivals up 30.6% y/y

July 29, 2018

TEHRAN - Tourist arrivals in Iran surged 30.66 percent in the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year (started in March 21) from a year earlier, led by visitors mainly from four neighboring countries, a tourism official has said.

“Travelers from Azerbaijan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey constituted topmost arrivals in the first three months of the current year… however, the number of travelers from European countries cut by 24 percent year-on-year during the same period,” Mehr quoted Mohammad Moheb-khodaei as saying on Wednesday. 

“The highest growth rate has been in the health tourism sector… [for instance] Azerbaijani citizens have shown willingness to travel Iran due to [medical] cost differences in the two countries,” the official added.

Back in May, Mohammad Jahangiri who presides over a national center for developing health tourism, said “Iran has capacity to annually earn $7 billion in medical and health tourism, though the sector now brings in only one-seventh or even lesser of the sum.”

“Although there are serious weaknesses, but we have considerable capacities in health tourism. One of those is the transfer of money as foreign patients cannot carry a large amount of cash,” Jahangiri added.

Iran also attracts health and medical tourists from the U.S., European countries and the Persian Gulf littoral states.

PHOTO: A visitor sits inside the 19th-century Nasir al-Molk Mosque, a tourist destination in Shiraz, southern Iran.

AFM/MQ/MG

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