Sistan and Baluchestan province inbound tourists up 23% in H1

TEHRAN, Oct. 07 (MNA) – Sistan and Baluchestan province hosted some 105,139 foreign tourists during the first six months of the current fiscal year that ended on Sep. 22, a senior official at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) said.

“The figure indicates 23% growth in comparison with the corresponding period last year, when 85,275 foreign travelers visited the province,” Alireza Jalalzaei, the head of ICHHTO's provincial office said on Sunday.

“The majority of the travelers came from neighboring and European countries including Germany, Hungary, Italy, Austria, England, Australia and Netherlands,” he added.

Jalalzaei noted that ICHHTO has taken effective measures such as representing the province in international exhibitions to make Sistan-Baluchestan a popular tourist destination.

Sistan and Baluchestan had long been shunned by potential foreign travelers though it is home to several distinctive archaeological sites and natural attractions, including two UNESCO World Heritage sites of Shahr-e-Soukhteh (Burnt City) and Lut Desert, shared with Kerman province.

The province also boasts arrays of mangrove forests which are repleted with diverse species of seabirds such as flamingos and herons.

According to ICHHTO, the number of foreign tourists visiting the country surged 51% in the first half of the current Iranian year in comparison with similar period last year, when Iran hosted some 2,619,310 foreign tourists.

MR/IRN83056860

News Code 138433

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