Iranian tourism industry may bring up to $100 billion revenue

Tourism Materials 30 May 2019 13:56 (UTC +04:00)

Tehran, Iran, May 30


"Considering the tourist attractions in Iran, the tourism industry in the country may bring up to $100 billion income annually; however, the current revenues of the industry do not reach even one tenth of this figure," said Iranian MP's.

Farideh Oladghobad, a member of Iran's parliamentary Tourism Committee discussed issues of tourism development in an interview to Trend.

In her words, tourism is considered world-wide a profitable industry, which brings good revenues, and many countries that have no particular products for export have succeeded in developing tourism industry and improving their economies.

According to her, despite these advantages, Iran has not created necessary conditions for the industry, and the country's share in the global tourism market is small.

"Considering the current economic situation and the US sanctions against Iran, it is important to develop tourism; this may be a solution to economic problems via creating new jobs and returning foreign currency revenues. Many countries have compensated their economic weakness by promoting tourism, since it is easier to attract foreign tourists than to create and sell a specific product," she said.

"The US has always attempted to isolate Iran and paralyze Iran economy by oil sanctions, so the more we depend on oil, the more effective the sanctions are," she noted.

"Iran has necessary potential to develop tourism, as the country holds the highest rank in terms of tourist attractions,", she added. However, according to Farideh Oladghobad, the industry potential has yet to be fully developed.

"Considering all the tourist attractions in Iran, the country can receive annual income of $100 billion from tourism, but there are no visible plans to boost the industry," she noted. "Currently, the share of tourism in Iran's gross domestic product is between 2.5 to 3 percent."

She went on to say, "My suggestion is to use diplomatic and cultural ties and work with mass media to attract more tourists from various countries. The other way is to promote Iran holy sites to attract Muslims from neighbor and Islamic countries."

She added, "It has been more than a year since the value of national currency has dramatically decreased, and this would make the trip to Iran more affordable for foreign tourists. This is also a good opportunity to compensate the losses after the devaluation of the national currency." .

Farideh Oladghobad emphasized that the advantages of attracting tourists are not limited to economics. "We can also promote and popularize our national culture and history. Moreover, Iran has affordable infrastructures in medical sector, so we can develop and advertise medical tourism, which has become very popular around the world," she added.

She noted that she was one of those who drafted a plan to promote national cultural heritage and develop tourism industry. "We are waiting for the government's response. If we want to have economy, which does not heavily depend on oil, then special attention shall be paid to development of the tourism industry," she said.