The Iranian minister of cooperatives, labor and social welfare has said that the country has a potential to earn $7 billion in revenues through attracting one million health tourists on a yearly basis.
Relative wallet-friendly services can be considered as the main advantage of medical tourism in Iran, Ali Rabiei said in an address to an international conference held in Hama Hotel in Tehran on Tuesday evening, to which business representatives from over 30 courtiers attended.
Rabiei also pointed to lack of integrated management and proper advertisement as factors that have hampered medical and health tourism sectors in the country despite high quality of services and low prices, IRIB reported.
Health-tourism companies from more than 30 countries including the Netherlands, Germany, France, China, Canada, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Romania and Uzbekistan are supposed to collaborate with Iran in this regard.
Earlier this month, Iran signed agreements with 13 neighboring countries with the aim of developing and reorganizing its medical tourism sector. Patients from Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia and the Persian Gulf littoral states constitute the largest number of travelers who visit Iran annually for medical services.
Moreover, the state-run Tourism Holding Company, affiliated with the Social Security Organization, is to unveil a comprehensive plan, which will be implemented with the participation of 22 hospitals and over 200 physicians, specialists, and surgeons.
The Ministry of Health registered some 105,000 inbound patients over the past Iranian calendar year (March 2016-March 2017), ISNA quoted a tourism official as saying back in July.
Iran has launched extensive plans to bolster its tourism sector. Under its 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, the country is expecting to increase the number of tourism arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.