Rouhani calls for development of tourism sector

June 17, 2019

TEHRAN –President Hassan Rouhani has called for the development of tourism sector as a need to expand economy, create job opportunities and boost friendship between cultures and societies.

Addressing a meeting with cabinet members on Sunday, Rouhani underlined promoting Iran’s tourism in light of its landmark tourism attractions, historical monuments and natural sites, IRNA reported.

Rouhani urged officials to facilitate ecotourism procedures and remove related obstacles.

Due to a very diverse natural setting, Iran offers a lively and interesting environment to the nature loving travelers. Sightseers may live with a nomad or rural family or enjoy an independent stays and assist with day-to-day village activities, while learning about rustic routines, agriculture, wildlife, traditional art and culture.

The President also advised Central Bank of Iran to create facilities for those applying for loans to develop ecotourism.

In the session, Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Director Ali-Asghar Mounesan presented a report of the latest developments in the tourism and ecotourism arenas, saying domestic tourism statistics shows a significant increase in the number of visits to Iran’s touristic and historical sites.

“Based on statistics, 134, 232, 820 tourists visited [the country’s] attractions this year [started March 21]. The figure grew 24% compared with the same period last year,” IRNA quoted Mounesan as saying.

According to the Central Bank of Iran, tourism industry contributed $11.8 billion to the country’s GDP in the past year (ended on March 20). In addition, handicrafts exports made up $600 million of the GDP in the same year.

The ancient country welcomed some 7.8 million foreign nationals last year, which shows a 52.5 percent increase year on year. The ultimate goal of the Islamic Republic is to attract 20 million foreign tourists annually by 2025. However, with only six years to go, according to some experts, the target seems to be somewhat unachievable.

AFM/MQ/MG

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