Iran's expected ECO deal to help tourism co-op with Azerbaijan (exclusive)
Tehran, Iran, Jan. 26
By Kamyar Eghbal – Trend:
Iran plans to link an agreement with the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) which seeks to expand tourism cooperation with the member states of the organization, including Azerbaijan, a senior official told Trend.
Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization's deputy for investment and planning, Saeed Ohadi, has said that the agreement to expand tourism cooperation between members of ECO is expected to be inked in Tehran in February.
“In most clauses of this agreement we will launch suitable tasks on tourism development with Republic of Azerbaijan and other members of the ECO,” he added.
Speaking about tourism arrivals in the country, the official said that Iraq and Azerbaijan account for the highest number of tourist arrivals in Iran.
Elaborating on the interest of the tourists of Iraq and Azerbaijan in Iran, the official suggested that holy sites as well as medical tourism, encourage the tourists form these two countries to visit the Islamic Republic.
About 200,000 tourists arrived in Iran from Iraq over the last fiscal 2017/18 to receive healthcare services.
The deputy head of the association for development of healthcare tourism of Iran, Mohammad Panahi, earlier on January 15 told Trend that medical tourism is expected to generate $5 billion in revenue for Iran over the next five years.
According to the official, 40 privately owned firms as well as 200 hospitals currently offer medical services to foreign nationals in the Islamic Republic.
Iran’s revenue from medical tourism in 2015 and 2016 amounted to $1.2 billion.