Published on : Wednesday, November 20, 2019
During the initial seven months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Oct. 22), a total of 5,890,952 tourists came to Iran to register a 24% growth in comparison to the same time in 2018, according to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism.
Previous figures suggested the country witnessed a 26.34% rise year-on-year in tourist arrivals during the first half of the current fiscal year (March 21-Sept. 22).
What’s more, 890,952 tourists visited Iran during the seventh fiscal month (Sept. 23-Oct. 22). This indicated a 12.5% growth compared to the last year’s similar time.
Also, recent statistics show about six million Iranians traveled across the country in the seven months to Oct. 22, up by 23% YOY, the Persian economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.
Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Turkey and Pakistan are the main source of tourists to Iran.
Even though emerging tensions between Washington and Tehran are impacting visitor numbers, mainly from Europe, the rising foreign tourist number, visiting for religious and medical purposes is making up for the loss.
According to Ebrahim Pourfaraj from Iranian Tourism Association, the weak rial helps bring in tourists to Iran.
“They come on pilgrimages or for medical treatment. To some extent, that makes up for the losses,” he told DW in an interview.
In the world, Iran has been ranked first in terms of price competitiveness in the World Economic Forum’s “The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019” with a score of 6.7.
Scores range from 1 to 7 where 1 means worst and 7 means best.
Iran’s top ranking is responsible because of low ticket taxes and airport charges (7th), fuel prices (5th) and high purchasing power (5th), the report claims.
“A total of 4,258,944 Iranians traveled overseas during the same period, indicating a year-on-year increase of 15.95%,” Teymouri told ISNA.
The depression of the national currency of Iran, rial, against foreign currencies in 2018 has had a dual effect: On the one hand, it has led to a major turn down in the power of purchasing of the Iranians overseas, but on the other hand has given a boost to the inbound tourism sector as travelling to Iran has become cheaper for foreign holiday-goers.
In 2018, the rial lost about two-thirds of its value against the dollar. In recent weeks, nevertheless, the national currency has gained parts of the losses by appreciating against foreign currencies.