The director general of Isfahan Province’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, Fereydoun Allah-Yari, says a record number of 208,810 foreign tourists visited the province’s tourist attractions as well as historical sites and buildings during the first two months of the current Iranian calendar year (started mid-March 2017).
Allah-Yari added this number of foreign tourists visiting an Iranian province in only 60 days has been unprecedented, not only in the past four years, but also during the contemporary history of Iran, particularly after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
He put the number of the foreign visitors to Isfahan Province during the first and second thirty days of the 60-day period at 85,000 and 123,810, respectively.
The official added in the same period of time, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands, the UK, Austria, China and Japan ranked first to 10 respectively, in terms of having the largest number of tourists to Isfahan.
“The number of tourists to Isfahan Province did not drop even during the days when Iran’s presidential and local elections was the country’s hottest topic and candidates had reached the peak of their electoral campaigns, holding campaign meetings and delivering stump speeches.”
He said many of the foreign visitors were shocked by Iranians’ massive turnout in the elections, adding they said this was the first time they were witnessing this level of democracy being practiced in a Middle Eastern country.
Allah-Yari noted that Isfahan Province is home to more than 22,000 historical buildings, sites and artifacts, of which 1,850 have been registered nationally and four including Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Chehel Sotoun Palace, Fin Garden and Jameh Mosque have been registered internationally in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
According to the figures by Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the number of foreign visitors to Isfahan Province has grown five-fold since 2013, when the incumbent Iranian government took office.