Iran’s earnings from tourism contributed $11.8b to its gross domestic product (GDP) in the past Iranian calendar year 1397 (ended March 20), Tourism Chief Ali-Asghar Mounesan said on Tuesday.
“According to the Central Bank of Iran, tourism industry contributed $11.8 billion to the country’s GDP in the past year. In addition, handicrafts exports made up $600 million of the GDP [in the same year],” the official said.
“The sustainability of employment in the field of tourism is amongst benefits of this industry. Last year, the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization was one of the bodies that played a significant role in the country’s employment, we managed to create over 200 thousand sustainable jobs last year.”
According to the latest data released by the Word Bank, Iran’s GDP was $454.013 billion in 2017.
International travelers spent some $11.8 billion in 1397 (ended March 20), Mounesan said in May.
“For the time being, the tourism sector is becoming the third largest source of income in the world economy so that more attention should be paid to the sector in our country,” Mounesan said.
The number of international tourists visiting Iran surged 52.5 percent in the past Iranian calendar year from a year earlier, according to data compiled by the CHHTO. The Islamic Republic hosted some 7.8 million foreign nationals in that year, which shows a 52.5 percent increase year on year.
The 2019 Travel Risk Map, which shows the risk level around the world, puts Iran among countries with “insignificant risk”, a category where the UK, Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, and Finland are placed in.
The country embraces a good number of ancient cultural heritage and monuments including bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, gardens, rich natural, rural landscapes as well as 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites.