"Fortunately, nearly 5mln tourists entered the country in the first six months of the current (Iranian) year (started on March 21)," Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ali Asqar Mounesan told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Tehran today.
"Our tourism situation has grown nearly 27% compared with the past year and we hope that this year, we will host over 10mln tourists," he added.
Last month, Mounesan had said that his country’s tourism industry was enjoying a vigorous momentum, adding that Washington had been unsuccessful in its efforts to dampen the growth in the field.
Iran’s tourism industry is on the right track and progressing well, Mounesan said.
“In 2017, the number of foreign tourists visiting Iran stood at 4.7 million. In 2018, the number reached 7.7 million, and we witnessed a boom in the first four months of the current year compared to the same period in previous years,” he added.
“Around March 2018, we received a governmental notice warning about the behavior of the US administration and its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, so we started to plan accordingly so that the measures would not affect the number of tourists visiting our country,” Mounesan added.
He said one of these plans was to define new target markets.
“For instance, we implemented a one-way visa waiver with Oman. Recently, we did the same with China. From Oman alone, we received 4,700 tourists. The number has reached 12,400 tourists since the past three months,” Mounesan added.
“We have made plans and set our sight on regional markets. As of now, tourists visit Iran for receiving treatment, besides doing pilgrimages. This has brought in a lot of revenues for the country, even more so than revenues brought in by European tourists,” he said.