Foreign investment in Iran tourism reaches $141m, deputy minister says

April 28, 2023 - 17:32

TEHRAN – Foreign investment in the tourism industry of Iran totaled some $141 million in the past Iranian calendar year 1401 (ended on March 20), the deputy tourism minister has said.

Some $141 million have been invested in Iran’s tourism sector during the past year, Ali-Asghar Shalbafian said on Thursday. 

By drafting a law that addresses foreign investors’ concerns, Iran will be able to be more successful in this field, the official added. 

The Iranian government provides favorable incentives and guarantees foreign investment in the country, he noted. 

Long shunned by Western travelers, the Islamic Republic has steadily stepped-up efforts to use tourism, over the past couple of years, to help promote its international image battered by endless opposition mostly from the U.S.

Experts believe even before the COVID pandemic, Iran’s tourism was already grappling with some challenges, on top of those Western “media propaganda” aimed at scaring potential travelers away from the Islamic Republic. They say Iran is still somehow “unknown” to many potential travelers due to such a “media war.”

Before the pandemic, Iran's tourism had constantly been growing, reaching more than eight million visitors in the Iranian calendar year 1398 (started March 21, 2019). That surge, however, helped prejudices to become thick and thin.

However, Iran’s trump card is that the country benefits from a wide variety of travel destinations ranging from seacoasts and lush green woods to towering mountains and harsh deserts. As a wallet-friendly destination with hospitable people, Iran has long been a desired destination for nature lovers, birdwatchers, powder chasers, culture devotees, pilgrims, museum-goers, foodies, adventurers, and medical travelers, to name a few.

Mass COVID-19 vaccinations, consecutive fam tours for foreign tour operators, easing travel procedures, and fresh strategies, altogether, suggest Iran is determined to experience a tourism rebound with a greater reliance on its numerous tourist spots of which 26 are UNESCO World Heritage, above all, its welcoming people.


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