Iran ranks 68th in tourism revenues worldwide, said deputy head of research for Iran Travel and Tourism Organization (ITTO) Mahmoud Mohammadi said in Ramsar, Mazandaran province on Saturday, IRNA reported.
Speaking at a tourism promotion seminar Mohammadi told IRNA that the tourism revenues average about rls two billion annually. He said Iran with attractive natural and historical sites is rated among the 10 most touristic countries in the world "therefore it is imperative to devise comprehensive programs to promote tourism,". Close to 1.8 percent of national employment is generated in the tourism sector, "which is slated to increase to 10 percent in the next five years."
He said the numbers of hotels and motels in the country are 641 with 63,000 beds, adding "in the next three years the figure is slated to increase to 83,000."
Meanwhile, Head of ITTO Mohammad Taha Abdekhodaei condemned here recently what he called as attempts to "profit from tourism." "We will not let some people, through profiteering in tourism, deny the country from the ample revenues of foreign tourists," he stated.
He told IRNA that each tourist creates two to three jobs saying that the country cannot afford to lose these jobs. "We should beware that any uncalled moral, cultural or economic behavior will have ramification which will seriously damage the nation`s image in other countries."
He reiterated that a steady flow of tourists will be beneficial to the country.
The latest statistics indicate that the number of tourists visiting Iran has declined by 9.5 percent in the current Iranian year (started March 21) compared to the same period last year. The Customs Organization reported here in August that 1.352 million arrived in the country, "of whom 812,500 were Iranians and the rest foreign nationals."
It said the number of Iranian and foreign nationals visiting the country have declined by 7.6 percent and 12.8 percent, respectively compared to the same period in previous year.
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