Tourism in Iran

Tourism in Iran is diverse, providing a range of activities from hiking and skiing in the Alborz and Zagros mountains, to beach holidays by the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. The Iranian government has made concerted efforts to attract tourists to the various destinations in the country and arrivals have increased in recent years. Iran has 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites – 22 cultural and two natural.

Ali Asghar Moonesan, the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHTO), announced that the number of tourists who visited Iran in the first six months of the Iranian year (starting March 21) rose by 51 percent compared to the same period in 2017.

He added 8.7 million foreign nationals visited Iran during the [Iranian] year (1398), adding that Iran was ranked as the second fastest-growing country in tourism based on data compiled by the World Tourism Organization.

He said “Tourism of the country was growing before the corona [outbreak], its revenues reached $11.7 billion in 2019, which accounted for 2.8% of GDP, nearing the average share of tourism in the world GDP, which was 3.2 percent,” Mounesan said.

Months of steep recession has taken its toll. Many travel insiders, hoteliers, and tour operators have faced big dilemmas such as bankruptcy, unemployment, debts, and the prospects of not being competitive on the international level.

They now have good grounds of hope as Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ezzatollah Zarghami announced on September 19 that the country plans to lift visa restrictions to help the severely hit tourism industry.

Zarghami made the remarks following his conversations with President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, however, the minister did not specify the date upon which those regulations would be scrapped.

Iran is potentially a booming destination for travelers seeking cultural attractions, breathtaking sceneries, and numerous UNESCO-registered sites. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

Even before the pandemic, Iran’s tourism was already grappling with some challenges, on top of those Western “media propaganda” aimed at scaring potential travelers away from the Islamic Republic. Some experts believe Iran is still somehow “unknown” for many potential travelers due to such a “media war.

Photography exhibition of Shiraz.

The Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Iran will be holding an exhibition on theme of “photography of shiraz” at the Salar Jung Museum from 13th October till 23rd October 2021. 40 photos of Shiraz along with live calligraphy and wood inlay will be exhibited in this event.

Shri V. Srinivas Goud. Hon’ble Minister for Tourism & Culture and Archaeology Government of Telangana will be the Chief Guest of this exhibition.

The exhibition will be held in cooperation with the Salarjung Museum and The Siasat Daily newspaper.