Iraq tops Iran’s visiting tourists list

December 10, 2018

TEHRAN – Some 2 million Iraqi nationals visited Iran during the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21), turning the country into Iran’s largest source of tourists, ISNA reported.

“The number of Iraqi arrivals in Iran neared 2 million from [the first Iranian calendar] month Farvardin to the end of [the seventh month] Mehr,” said Vali Teymouri, the deputy director of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

“This is while the number of travelers from Iraq stood at 1,356,185 in the last Iranian year (March 2017-18) and 1,398,201 in the year before,” the official said.

Iran played host to over 4.7 million travelers during the 7-month period, he added.  

People from Iraq, Republic of Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Turkey and Pakistan constituted the highest travelers to Iran respectively that visited the country for medical, pilgrimage and cultural heritage purposes, Teymouri explained.

“People of Iran’s neighboring countries were used to travel to Iran for pilgrimage, trade and work but nowadays Iraqi and Azerbaijani nationals are mostly pursue medical services in Iran, a kind of tourism which usually fetches good income for the country.”

He underlined that Iran’s share of Western travelers is growing.

“The number of Western travelers declined by the end of Shahrivar month [Sept. 22], which is a low season for foreign tourism. However, statistics show their arrivals are getting boost over Mehr and Aban months [Sept. 23 to Nov. 21].”

CHHTO Director Ali-Asghar Mounesan said in November that the number of foreign travelers to the country has seen a considerable year-on-year growth as medical tourism gains momentum in the country.

The 2019 Travel Risk Map, which shows the risk level around the world, puts Iran among countries with “insignificant risk”, a category where the UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, and Finland are placed in.

AFM/MG

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