EU tourists to Iran up 60 per cent

HAMEDAN, Aug. 26 (MNA) – The head of Cultural Heritage Organization has said the number of Europeans coming to Iran has increased by 60 per cent.

Masoud Soltanifar told Mehr News local correspondent that accommodation facilities should be established for all incoming tourist with different income levels, either domestic or foreign; “currently, there is a serious lack of 4- and 5-star hotels which are crucial in attracting foreign tourists; however, in recent two years, grounds of construction of a number of these types of high-profile hotels have been prepared, with construction of some others to be started within next months,” he told Mehr News.

“We have currently 1100 hotels and 500 guest houses countrywide; out of these all, only 130 hotels are 4- and 5-stared; foreign tourists have a high demand for this type of hotels; we have plans to expand temporary camping for tourists of all incomes,” Soltanifar added. “The private sector is also interested in participation in the temporary camping project; since the time Rouhani’s cabinet assumed position, western tourists including from EU, US, Canada, and Australia, have visited Iran in the form of tours, which has now been up 50-60 per cent; in the financial year ending March 21, 2015, Iran has been host for 5 million tourists, 50 per cent of which are religious tourists with destinations in Mashhad and Qom shrines of Shia sacred figures,” he detailed.

“The remaining 50 per cent has been predominantly tourists seeking natural beauties and historical places and monuments; in the Vision of Iran 2025, the government is mandated to make necessary policy arrangements to attract 20 million foreign tourists in the next decade, which would provide the country with incomes as high as $25-30bn,” Soltanifar said. “With the current low figure as 5 million, we have a tough job ahead in meeting the challenge; one important objective is to raise the number of 4- and 5-star hotels from the current 130 to 400 hotels; that is, we should build 270 hotels by the next decade, and 25 hotels per annum,” he added.

 

News Code 109559

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