Iran raises annual tourism budget by 39%

May 1, 2020 - 20:0

TEHRAN- Iran’s national budget bill proposed for the current fiscal year (started March 20), has allocated 15.326 trillion rials (about $360 million at the official dollar rate of 42,000 rials) to the tourism sector, an increase of 39 percent year on year. 

The budget for expanding infrastructures and facilities has been increased by 63 percent to reach 885 billion rials (about $21 million), CHTN quoted tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan as saying on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the budget for promoting handicrafts and creating jobs has jumped to 200 billion rials (about $4.7 million), showing 41 percent rise year on year.

The country plans to develop the travel industry as a strong alternative for petrodollars despite falling oil prices and tough U.S. sanctions against the national economy.

Last December, President Hassan Rouhani submitted the administration’s draft of the national budget bill for the year 1399 to the Majlis. The proposed budget amounted to about 1.988 quadrillion rials (about $473.5 billion), with a 14-percent rise from the last year’s approved budget.

Iran expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots, including 24 ones placed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, the Islamic Republic is expecting to increase the number of tourism arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million by 2025.

The latest available data show eight million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019).

AFM/MG

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