More than six million foreign tourists visited Iran last year, a top government official was quoted as saying in a media report.
Tourism is seen as a major pillar of economy in the world, and iran must tap into its tourism capacities in order to improve its economic conditions.
The head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) says tourism is regarded as the world’s “third economy” and that one out of 11 jobs belongs to the tourism sector.
“The government can create many jobs in the tourism sector with the minimum budget,” said Ali-Asghar Mounesan.
The official underscored that the tourism sector should be taken more seriously, adding, “The basics in this sector have not been fulfilled.”
Speaking in a meeting in the central city of Yazd, the minister said small businesses have been successful in the city.
“The tourism sector has created jobs even in the most remote areas,” he underlined.
Mounesan’s remarks came as the Iranian government plans to adopt new measures to attract 20 million foreign tourists annually in the near future.
He had earlier noted that according to the Sixth National Development Plan, the government intends to raise the number of foreign tourists from 5 million to 20 million per year.
The Iranian official underlined that attracting tourists from Europe, China, Turkey as well as neighbouring and Islamic countries is high on the agenda of Iran’s tourism plan.
“The highest figure belongs to pilgrims and Khorasan Razavi province has allocated the highest number of foreign tourists to itself,” Mohammad Moheb Khodaei, deputy head of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (CHHTO) for tourist affairs was quoted in the Irna report.
Meanwhile, more than nine million Iranian tourists, including four million pilgrims, have travelled abroad, he added.