2,451 tourism projects worth $47b underway: minister

October 11, 2019

TEHRAN – A total of 2,451 tourism-related projects worth 2,000 trillion rials (about $47 billion) are being implemented across the country, tourism chief said on Thursday.

“The country has potential to attract whatever investment is made in this [tourism] sector and now the tourism share of the country’s GDP is about 2.9%, while a share of 4.5% is sought to be achieved. To attain such figure we need 21 billion dollars of investments in tourism arena,” Ali-Asghar Mounesan said.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of a conference, in which representatives from six eastern Iranian provinces discussed ways to expand tourism.

If [U.S.] sanctions are lifted and regional tensions are reduced, tourism capacity of the country will be much higher [than what we witness today], he said.

“I believe that the prospects of tourism is very favorable and it will take the first or second place [in the country’s economy] in the not-so-distant future.”

Referring to the country’s eastern provinces, the minister said that they have high potentials for medical tourism. “In addition, they are benefiting from large regional markets that are considered as tourism potentials of this region.”

Some 7.8 million foreign nationals visited Iran during the past Iranian calendar year 1397 (ended on March 20), which shows 52.5 percent growth from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the tourism ministry.

Tourism officials said earlier in May that the U.S.-led sanctions, targeting Iran’s economy, has failed to lessen foreign arrivals to the Islamic Republic, adding “Decrease in Iran national currency value has made Iran tour packages more competitive.”

AFM/MG

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