'Iran’s tourism industry progressing well despite US moves'

TEHRAN, Sep. 01 (MNA) – Iran’s tourism industry is progressing well despite the US’ undermining measures, according to Rouhani’s candidate for the newly-established Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of today’s Parliament session, Ali Asghar Mounesan, the head of the Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), said the country’s tourism industry is on the right track and progressing well.

The ICHHTO has recently been changed into a ministry, and Mounesan was picked as President Rouhani’s candidate to serve as the minister.

“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,” he 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.

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News Code 149548

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