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Iran picked destination of choice for tourists

22 December 2015 14:05


Industry experts have selected Iran among the world’s top tourist destinations, a new report says.

The Belgian website La Libre identified Iran as one of the countries with most tourist attractions after surveying specialized publications such as National Geographic, Lonely Planet and Afar.

The report points to a list of must-see sites in the country, including 19 special locations registered on the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

It said the industry has responded quickly to the historic agreement reached in July between Iran and permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, which put limits on Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for lifting anti-Iran sanctions.

The agreement unleashed a jet-setting spree by international entrepreneurs and business leaders as well as state politicians in their hunt for new business opportunities in the country of nearly 80 million people.

Iranian authorities have set impressive goals for the industry to increase the number of tourists from five million in 2014 to 20 in 2025, the report added.

La Libre also made reference to the French hotels group AccorHotels which has invested in Iran as the country’s 1,500 hotels are said to be running short of accommodation as more foreigners want to visit.

Iran’s hospitality market is in need of swift development of its tourism infrastructure in order to cope with the situation.

Back in summer, AccorHotels signed a deal with Iran’s Tourism Financial Group to run two hotels near Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport, marking the first foray by a major foreign entity into the country’s hospitality market since 1979.

Iranian officials say the country plans to generate up to $30 billion in revenues per annum from tourism by 2025.

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