WTTC ranks Iran’s tourism 20th among 185 in 2011-17

October 27, 2018

TEHRAN – Iran’s budding travel sector has come 20th in the latest World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) report that has ranked performance of 185 countries over 2011-17.

The WTTC Travel & Tourism Countries Power Ranking accounts for foreign visitor spending (visitor exports), domestic spending and Travel & Tourism capital investment that is based on absolute growth seen between 2011 and 2017.

According to the report, which was released late in September, visitor exports in Iran grew at an average rate of 19.9% pa during 2011-17 with the strongest growth witnessed during 2013 and 2014, when a newly elected government adopted a looser visa policy.

“During the same period, Iran’s currency, the rial, fell sharply in value under international sanctions over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program. This attracted international tourists who were not affected by the trade ban,” the report says.

Having an overall score of 28.75, Iran is placed between Italy and Vietnam each scored 27.75 and 29.50 respectively.

China, the U.S., India, Mexico, the UK, Spain, Turkey, Canada, Indonesia, Australia and the UAE reached the higher ranks in the Power Ranking index.

Earlier in June, Data provided to Fox News by leading travel intelligence analyst ForwardKeys showed that there has been a five percent growth in Westerners visiting Iran between September 1, 2016 and September 1, 2017 - and Americans make up 14.5 percent of all Western arrivals, Fox News reported in September 2017.

Iran has launched extensive plans to bolster its tourism sector. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, the country is expecting to increase the number of tourism arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million.

The country is home to ancient bazaars, museums, mosques, monuments, gardens, historical sites, rich natural and rural landscapes, and 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

AFM/MQ/MG

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