Source: Fars News Agency
Deputy Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization Manouchehr Jahanian said over 1 million tourists from different world states visited Iran this spring, adding that the number shows a 28.8% growth compared with the figures of the same period last year.
"1,180,843 foreign tourists have visited Iran in the first three months of the current Iranian year (started on March 21) which shows a 28.8% growth compared with the same period last year," Jahanian told FNA on Wedneday.
He expressed the hope that in the next 6 years of the country's 20-Year Vision Plan for Economic, Cultural and Social Development (2005-2025) Iran will be visited by over 20mln tourists annually.
A US newspaper wrote in November that Iran's tourism industry has flourished and the number of foreign tourists visiting Iran has increased in recent years despite the US-led sanctions targeting the country's economy.
"The demand by foreign tourists to visit Iran has gone up," The Washington Post said in an article titled 'Tourism a Bright Spot for Iran' by Jason Rezaian.
It noted that one of the reasons such boom in Iran's tourism industry is that the foreign purchasing power is at an all-time high in Iran due to a rise in the value of dollar against Iran's national currency, rial.
Hence, international travelers sensing a good deal are venturing to a country that they have not traveled to before, the daily said.
Although Iran's travel industry still has not reached what many Iranians think could be its true potential, the trend in recent years has been one of growth exceeding global averages.
From 2004 to 2010, the annual increase in tourists visiting foreign countries was 3.2 percent worldwide, according to the UN World Tourism Organization. Iran's figures over the same period show tourism in Iran grew at a much faster clip (12.7 percent).
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