In a meeting with a senior Iranian cleric in the city of Qom on Sunday, Ali-Asghar Mounesan said eight million tourists have arrived in Iran during the past ten months.
The minister also noted that the number of visiting tourists would have exceeded 10 million if the recent incidents had not happened.
He was probably referring to a decline in the number of foreign visitors after the January downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran.
Mounesan further said that Iran generates $11.7 billion in revenue from the tourism industry, noting that the figure could rise in future with proper planning.
Pointing to a decrease in the number of foreign tourists after the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China, the minister said Iran’s domestic tourism capacities are so diverse and strong that a drop in the number of foreign travelers would not deal a significant blow to the tourism industry.
The Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts has formulated policies to promote religious tourism and organize the old and new markets, Mounesan explained, referring to the suitable agreements that Iran has signed with Iraq to promote religious tourism.