28 May 2019 - 15:09
News Code 83331170
1 Persons
Iran: A perfect tourist destination under US sanctions
Foreign tourists in the southern Province of Kerman

،Tehran, May 28, IRNA - There has been a rise in the arrival of foreign tourists to Iran as well as internal tourism by Iranians themselves after the unilateral US sanctions devalued the national currency rial, making a trans-Iranian journey very cost-effective and relatively cheap for world travelers.

Seven million 800,000 foreigners traveled to Iran during the last Iranian year 1397 (to March 20, 2019), showing a 50% growth in comparison to a year before that, according to the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO).


The majority of the tourists were Turkish, registering a 74% rise compared to the year before, according to the report.


Nationals from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Iraq, and Oman were the next five top tourists that visited Iran last year.


The US sanctions made rial lose much of its value, paving the way for a cheaper journey to Iran for foreigners.


Washington´s punitive measures have largely kept European travelers away from Iran but also Tehran has been looking to attract now wealthy Chinese tourists to give a go to its tourism industry.


Lately, Iraqis and Pakistanis visit Iran in a bid to use its high-tech medical equipment and treatment, promoting medical tourism in the country.


Also, the latest World Tourism Barometer from the World Tourism Organization shows a hike of 8% in tourists that have visited the Middle East during the first quarter of 2019.


“The Middle East (+8%) and Asia and the Pacific (+6%) experienced the highest increase in international arrivals. Numbers in both Europe and Africa were up by 4%, and in the Americas, growth was recorded at 3%,” reads the report.


Rising eco-tourism


Over the last three years, there’s been a surge in eco-tourism in the country that promotes visiting fragile, pristine, and relatively undisturbed natural areas, intended as a low-impact and often small scale alternative to standard commercial mass tourism.


Many Iranians, cramped in big cities, go back to their roots, by visiting refurbished old houses and lodges that once formed their natural habitat, a trend that is attracting many foreigners as well.  


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