Iranian arrivals in Turkey drop by 20 percent in 2018: envoy

May 19, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian visits to Turkey fell some 20 percent in 2018 in comparison to a year earlier, Ankara’s ambassador to Tehran has said.

Last year, Iranian arrivals in Turkey dropped by 18 to 20 percent, despite the fact that the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has set a goal to attract 40 million tourists during 2019, CHTN quoted Derya Ors as saying on Sunday.

The envoy made the remarks during a meeting with Ali-Asghar Mounesan, the director of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

Iran holds high potential for investment, and with the reduction of barriers and problems, Turkish investors would certainly be interested in participating in Iran’s economic market, he said.

Tourism makes real recognition of nations from each other and clears up misunderstandings, the people of Turkey do not have enough knowledge of the beauty and attractions of Iran, and this shortcoming must be eliminated through appropriate advertising, the top diplomat explained.

Experts say Iran’s rial depreciation is the main reason behind the slump, which started in May when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, re-imposing new sanctions on Iran’s economy.

Rial weakness has also pushed up costs of air travel and accommodation for outbound Iranian passengers. The situation, on the other hand, has opened up a new chapter for travelers to the country, particularly Iraqi nationals.

Iran hosted 7.8 million foreign nationals in the past Iranian calendar year 1397 (ended on March 20), which shows 52.5 percent year-on-year growth.

AFM/MQ/MG

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