Cultural Council of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran > Iran world’s most affordable tourism destination

Iran world’s most affordable tourism destination

Endowed with ancient history and rich cultural treasures, Iran is among the top 20 countries in terms of the highest number of tourist attractions. From the world-renowned 2,500-year-old ruins of Persepolis to the archaeological mounds in Susa and Meymand villages, Iran is home to 19 UNESCO-designated World Heritage sites; the latter two were added to this list a year ago.


Iran’s tourism industry has been identified for a third straight year to have the most affordable prices in the world for foreign visitors.

Contrary to many of its neighbors in the Persian Gulf region, Iran enjoys a highly diverse culture as it is home to many different ethnic and religious groups. It is also among the countries that enjoy four genuine seasons, giving every visitor the chance to choose from a wide range of activities and tastes.

Iran is considered to be generally safe to visit, and another major advantage for the nation’s tourism industry is that the World Economic Forum found the country to be the world’s cheapest tourism destination in 2015. 

A biannual report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF) gave Iran a score of 66.6 in terms of price competitiveness and put it ahead of global tourism players such as Egypt, Malaysia, Russia, Turkey, Greece, Spain, the US, Franc and Italy.

The last 10 countries at the bottom of the list in the same category included Peru, Australia, Denmark, Senegal, Norway, Iceland, Barbados, Britain and Switzerland.

The price competitiveness of countries in the WEF’s “Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017” were measured by comparing costs relating to travel to and from a destination (travel costs including ticket prices, taxes, fuel rates, etc) and those relating to prices within the tourism destination (ground costs including hotel prices, service rates, food prices, etc).

Iran was also given a ranking of 38 in terms of cultural resources – the number of World Heritage natural sites, total known species, total protected areas and attractiveness of natural assets.

The country outperformed several European countries including the Czech Republic (42), Denmark (43), Hungary (45), Romania (46) and Norway (47) in the same category.

At the top of the list in the same group were China, Spain, France, Japan, Italy, Germany, Britain, Brazil, India and Mexico.

Overall, the WEF report showed that Iran’s overall travel and tourism competitiveness ranking had improved by four points over the past two years.

It identified Iran as the 93rd country with the appropriate set of factors and policies that enable the sustainable development of the travel and tourism sector.  Those factors, it said, include business environment, safety and security, health and hygiene, human resources and the labor market as well as its readiness in terms of information and communication technology (ICT).