IRI vice president: Tourism development to save economy from recession
Tourism industry is power generating engine that can exit Iranian economy from its inflation-recession phase and blow new life in its body to generate wealth and jobs, said vice president and head of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization, IRNA reported.
"Documents and observations reveal the fact that during the first six months of the current (Iranian) year (1393, began on March 20, 2014) the tours that bring foreign tourist to Iran hosted twice as many guests compared to the same period a year before," said Mas'oud Soltanifar, addressing a session of a work group of the Arak Province Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization.
He said that the statistics on Iranian and foreign tourists together in all sectors, too, shows a 35% increase during the first half of the current Iranian year compared with the same period last year.
"Most of the four and five star hotels in such metropolitan cities as Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan are facing and influx in room reservation for the upcoming months and some have filed requests for permits to further expand their service rendering complexes," he further elaborated.
The head of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Organization said that under such conditions that the world nations have hosted more than one billion and 187 million tourists and gained 250 billion US dollars from their tourism industry last year, Iran's share despite its strong attractions in natural, historical, spiritual, cultural and health tourism fields is only about 0.5% of that amount.
"Iran ranks 10th in the world in terms of miscellaneous attractions, and in terms of its cultural and historical attractions it is potentially among the top three countries in the world," added Soltanifar.
"During the past 80 years despite the entire power of archeology, only a small portion of the potential historical and cultural capitals of our country have been excavated from the heart of the earth, while more than 96% of the country's wealth in this field has remained untouched," he reiterated.
The vice president said that although 31,100 sites, cultural, and spiritual buildings have been registered nationally, Iran with more than one million historical buildings, sites, and areas righteously deserves to be titled a country-museum.