Iran targets 30 countries to boost inbound tourism

June 26, 2021 - 18:54

TEHRAN – Iranian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts has targeted a selection of 30 countries in a bid to lift inbound tourism of the country.

“Iran has recently shortlisted 30 countries as its target markets for tourism… They have been categorized and prioritized into four groups,” Leila Azhdari, who presides over the tourism marketing and advertising office of the ministry, said on Saturday.

“China, Iraq, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Oman are the top priorities of our target market in terms of [inbound] tourism,” she said.

“Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Russia, and Armenia constitute our second group of tourism targets,” Azhdari said, adding that the elements of neighborhood and proximity are very important to us.

“For instance, India is not a neighbor of Iran but ranges of historical and cultural commonalities make it a top priority for us.”

The ten countries of Germany, Italy, France, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Kazakhstan, and the United Arab Emirates have been selected as the third priority on the list, the official stated.

“Finally, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Georgia, Belgium, Denmark, and Lebanon constitute our fourth priority.”

The average of international travels to and from Iran fell by 80 percent during the past Iranian calendar year 1399 (ended on March 20, 2021) from a year earlier caused by various coronavirus restrictions.

Optimistic forecasts, expect the country would achieve a tourism boom after coronavirus is contained, believing its impact would be temporary and short-lived for a country that ranked the third fastest-growing tourism destination in 2019.

UNWTO’s Panel of Experts foresees a rebound in international tourism in the current year, mostly in the third quarter. However, some experts suggest the rebound could occur only in 2022.

The Islamic Republic expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 24 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.


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