Tourism flourishing despite sanctions: VP

August 7, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran tourism chief on Tuesday said that that country’s tourism sector is gaining momentum despite U.S.-led sanctions. 

“Thanks to the country’s high potential in tourism industry, we are now witnessing that the industry has registered a dramatic growth despite unfair economic sanctions imposed by the enemies,” IRNA quoted Ali-Asghar Mounesan, who doubles as vice president, as saying.

Nearly 2,000 tourism projects are being implemented in the country with a total investment of 180,000 trillion rials (about $42 billion), which is a sign of its growth, the official told reporters during his visit to northern Gilan province.

Talking about the number of inbound passengers, the official said that foreign arrivals in Iran jumped from 4.7 million in [the Iranian calendar year] 1396 (March 2017-March 2018) to 7.8 million in 1397 despite economic sanctions and shrinkage of direct flights.

The Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization allocated 80 billion rials (about $1.9 million) to development of tourism in Gilan, of which ten billion rails will be allocated for the implementation of the tourism project in Steel Lake or other tourist areas in Astara region.

A foreign investor has also announced readiness to invest one billion dollars in the Iranian tourism industry, and one of the proposed areas will be the Astara Steel Lagoon, he said.

Astara lies on the border with Azerbaijan Republic and on the Caspian Sea. It is a relatively important border trade center between Iran and the Caucasus.

It has a wide but litter-strewn beach and could make a base to visit the forested Talesh mountain hinterlands or be a gateway to other touristic cities such as Ardabil and Rasht.

AFM/MG

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