Iran travel balance turns positive as inbound tourism jumps

December 17, 2018

TEHRAN – Iran’s travel balance turned positive in the first seven months of the current Iranian calendar year 1397 (started March 21), a positive reading since two years ago.

“The travel balance shifted positive as a total of 4,704,509 outbound travels were registered against 4,739,413 inbound ones over the first seven months of the year,” said Vali Teymouri, deputy director of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization for tourism affairs, CHTN reported.

Making direct comparisons for the past two [Iranian] years, he said Iran recorded over three million foreign arrivals and more than five million travels abroad in the same period last year.

Foreign arrivals exceeded three million in the same period in the year 1395 compared to over 4.3 million of outbound travels, the official added.

Of the reasons behind, according to experts, is that touring Iran has become more wallet-friendly as the rial has lost over half of its value against major foreign currencies, the report said.

Cost-effective yet quality medical services, on the other hand, is turning the country a popular destination for medial travelers.

Medical tourist arrivals in the country has nearly doubled in the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year, corresponding to spring 2018, from a year earlier, an official with the Ministry of Health said in September.

“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 said earlier this month.

Some 2 million Iraqi nationals visited Iran during the seven-month period, naming it Iran’s largest source of tourists, the official said.

Filled from corner to corner with ancient bazaars, museums, mosques, monuments, gardens, historical sites, rich natural and rural landscapes, Iran hosts some of the world’s oldest cultural monuments, including 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

AFM/MQ/MG

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