Sunday, April 21, 2024

Minister: Nearly 3mn tourists visited Iran in less than a year

The Iranian minister of cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts says Iran’s tourism sector is witnessing promising signs of recovery as the coronavirus pandemic has started rolling back, with over 2.9 million tourists having visited the country during the past eleven months, excluding medical tourists.

Ezzatollah Zarghami, in an interview with Iran’s IRINN channel on Tuesday, said the Islamic Republic has plans to revive the tourism sector, hit hard by the Covid-19 outbreak, and return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2024.

He said, “In the last 11 months, 35 new museums have been established across the country, and now the number of museums has crossed the 800 mark.”

Ecotourism is one of the areas that Iran has been seeking to expand during the past years in order to flaunt the beauties of the rural, desert, and forest areas in the country to incoming visitors, the minister added.

The Iranian minister said several meetings have been held with dozens of archeologists, cultural heritage experts, as well as tour operators to optimize Iran’s tourism potential.

Zarghami, however, regretted that the tight budget has taken a toll on the maintenance and restoration of over 35,000 registered historical sites across the country.

He also blamed Iranophobia as one of the main obstacles to the development and prosperity of tourism in Iran, which diverts tourists to neighboring countries in the Persian Gulf region.

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