TEHRAN – Iran’s tourism revenue is projected to reach $25 billion by 2025, tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan said on Tuesday.
Attracting 20 million foreign tourists annually by 2025, and designating the tourism sector as one of the important foundations of the country’s economy is amongst the government’s priorities, Mounesan added.
Noting that the arrival of each foreign tourist is equal to the export of 40 barrels of oil, he said that 8.8 million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019).
He also explained that Iran’s tourism sector contributes 6.5% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is expected to grow to 10 percent by 2025.
Back in August the minister announced that Iran’s inbound tourism came to almost zero and the country had 74 foreign tourists in the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year (started on March 20), due to the corona outbreak.
He emphasized that the tourism industry of Iran was growing before the outbreak of the coronavirus and the country was ranked as the second fastest-growing country in tourism based on data compiled by the World Tourism Organization.
The minister reminded that some 2.3 million foreign nationals visited the Islamic Republic during the spring last year that showed a 40.66 percent increase year on year. The country hosted 1,443,551 million travelers during the same period a year earlier.
“Many tourism projects have been completed, or are being implemented, showing that a very good capacity has been created in the field of tourism in the country and [this trend] should not be stopped,” he explained.
According to Mounesan, 2,451 tourism-related projects worth 1,370 trillion rials (around $32 billion) are currently being implemented across the country that “signals a prosperous future for Iran’s tourism sector.”
Iran expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 24 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.