Iran earns $8 billion in revenue from tourism (exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Apr. 27
By Farhad Daneshvar, Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:
Iran's revenue from tourism over the last Iranian calendar year (ended March 20) amounted to $8 billion, an Iranian vice-president told Trend.
Iranian Vice-President and the head of the Cultural Heritage Organization Massoud Soltanifar said April 26 that 5.5 million foreign tourists visited the country over the last Iranian calendar year.
Soltanifar is in Baku to attend the 7th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations which kicked off Apr.25.
According to the vice-president, the country's cultural, historical, natural and religious sites are places of interest for tourists visiting Iran.
"Iran enjoys rich cultural heritage and beautiful nature with a wide range of tourist attractions, including 19 UNESCO-registered sites, as well as deserts and ski resorts," Soltanifar said.
Soltanifar further termed a group of visitors as "health tourists" which refers to those people who arrive in Iran for medical tourism.
Annually a large number of patients from neighboring countries in particular Iraq and Azerbaijan arrive in Iran to visit doctors and use the country's medical services.
Iran plans to lure 20 million tourists per year aimed at generating $30 billion in revenue by 2025, Soltanifar added.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has suggested that Iran's international tourism receipts in 2013 amounted to $1.294 million.
Meanwhile, the World Bank reported that 4.96 million tourists arrived in Iran in 2014. The World Bank statistics indicate 1.175 billion inbound tourists across the globe in 2014 with an expenditure of $1.426 trillion.