Travel in Iran seen to grow by 20% over Noruz holidays: tourism chief

March 13, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran tourism chief has estimated that domestic trips would grow by 20 percent over the New Year holidays (Noruz, staring March 21) from a year earlier, Mehr reported.

Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Director Ali-Asghar Mounesan on Tuesday cited the slump of outbound travels as the main reason for his forecast, noting “This year, there have been three million dropping out of foreign travels, and if this [figure] is to be added to domestic travels, we will have a 20 percent increase in [the number of domestic] travels during Noruz.”

Based on previous CHHTO statistics, a total of 5,900,381 Iranians traveled overseas during the first nine months of the year, that indicates 30 percent decline compared with the same period last year.

Iranians make hundreds of thousands of domestic trips during the New Year holidays, when most businesses and workplaces are closed, as are schools.

More than 17 million hit the roads, boarded trains, planes and vessels, toured the country from March 15, 2018, one week before the official New Year (Noruz) holidays, which ended on April 2, 2018, based on data compiled by CHHTO.

===== Foreign arrivals at seven million in eleven months

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official said that over seven million foreign nationals visited the country during the first eleven months of the current Iranian calendar year, which he deems as a remarkable rise from the same period last year.

The country is also a destination for health and medical tourists from Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, the U.S., European countries and the Persian Gulf littoral states. According to official statistics, the country hosted some 400,000 medical tourists during the past Iranian year 1396 (ended March 20).

Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran is expecting to increase its foreign arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million.

AFM/MQ/MG

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