Baku, Azerbaijan, June 21
By Fatih Karimov - Trend:
Half of foreign tourists to Iran choose the holy city of Mashhad in the northeastern province of Khorasan Razavi as their destination, said Javad Mousavi, the deputy director of Khorasan Razavi Province's Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department.
The holy shrine of Imam Reza, as well as high quality accommodation services by the city's hotels attracts Iranian and foreign tourists, Iran's IRNA news agency quoted Mousavi as saying on June 21.
Over the past year, some five million foreign tourists visited Iran, he said, adding that 50 percent of the tourists selected Mashhad as their destination.
There are currently 16 direct flights from Mashhad's Hasheminejad Airport to other countries, he noted.
Currently, Iran has 1,100 hotels; and only 130 of them are 4 and 5-star hotels. By 2025, the number of hotels in Iran will be increased threefold.
Most tourists come to the country from neighboring countries for treatment, visiting religious places, sightseeing, and historical sites.
Some 3.8 million of foreign tourists visited Iran, bringing $1.11 billion worth of income to the country in 2012. The figure stood at 4.77 million in 2013, 24.4 percent more year on year.