Tourism ministry’s budget seen to rise by 11.8%

December 9, 2019 - 19:13

TEHRAN – The budget bill for the next Iranian calendar year (to start March 20, 2020) has proposed 13 trillion rials (about $310 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) for the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, an increase of 11.8 percent compared with the current year’s budget.

President Hassan Rouhani submitted the bill worth 1.988 quadrillion rials (about $473.5 billion) to the Majlis on Sunday, with the main focus of countering the U.S. sanctions on the country's economy, Mehr reported.

The bill has estimated the government’s budget at 5.63 quadrillion rials (about $134.04 billion), showing 8.2 percent rise year on year.

Iran expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots, including 22 ones that have been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Some 6.7 million foreign nationals have visited the country since the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year, Mojtaba Karimi, who presides over Foreign Ministry’s visa and passport department, was quoted by IRNA as saying on December 4.

Iran welcomed some 7.8 million foreign nationals last year, achieving 52.5 percent increase year on year. According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, Iraq was the main source of tourism for Iran in 2018, constituting 24% of all inbound visitors. Azerbaijan with (17%), Turkey (8%), Pakistan (4%) and Bahrain (2%) constituted other major sources while the remaining 46% came from the rest of the world.

Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran is expecting to increase the number of tourism arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million by 2025.

AFM/MG

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