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Sanctions, Protests? Tourism to Iran is booming again

, Sanctions, Protests? Tourism to Iran is booming again, eTurboNews | eTN

Iran inbound tourism down 45% in 2020, but up 40% in 2021, 39.2% in 2022 contributing 4.6% to its overall economy.

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Iran’s tourism industry is back strong and solid the Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency reported referring to a report issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

For Iran, this means 11.2% more jobs in 2022 and 1.44 million people working in the travel and tourism industry. It also means 6.1% of all jobs in the Islamic Republic are related to the tourism sector.

Economic sanctions in place make the tourism Dollar an important foreign currency earner, with 6.2 billion US-Dollars in 2022. It was a 73.5% increase compared to the year before.

Where are tourists to Iran come from

The majority of visitors to Iran come from Iraq. They contribute to 55%. 6% of all tourists came from Azerbaijan and Turkey. 5% of all visitors were from Pakistan, and 2% from Kuwait.

850,000 foreign visitors went to Iran in 2022 in the first two months of the year, a 50% growth, a proud Ezzatollah Zarghami, minister of tourism, said.

Iran recorded three times the global average growth in tourism.

There is enormous growth potential, since despite all this good news Iran. Worldwide only 0.4% of all foreign tourist trips in 2022 have been made to Iran. The average worldwide GDP for tourism was 7.6% in 2022.

Last year, 22 million new jobs were created in the world’s tourism industry, which has increased by 7.9% compared to the year earlier, employing 295 million people, or 9% of the global workforce.

Iran has been subject to strict sanctions by the Western world imposed by different countries and international organizations. These sanctions have had an impact on various sectors of the Iranian economy, including tourism

In the case of Iran, the sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries have affected the tourism industry to some extent. For instance, there have been restrictions on financial transactions, making it more challenging for foreign tourists to access certain services. The sanctions have also resulted in limitations on international flights and reduced connectivity.

However, despite the sanctions, Iran still welcomes tourists from around the world.

The country has a rich cultural and historical heritage, and many travelers are drawn to its ancient sites, vibrant cities, and beautiful landscapes. Iranian authorities have been making efforts to promote tourism and improve infrastructure to attract visitors.

Medical tourism and cancer treatment is another tourism-related income opportunity.

About the author


Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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