(Persia Digest) - While the highest number of foreign tourists in Iran is said to be religious tourists who often come to Mashhad from Arab countries, last year 110,000 more European tourists came to Iran from the previous years.
This good news was announced by Mohammad Moheb-Khodaei, Deputy Director of tourism at the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization of Iran. From two years ago, due to some problems with Saudi Arabia, the number of Arab tourists to Mashhad declined. Every year, 340 thousand tourists from Arab countries come to Iran, 130,000 of them being from Saudi Arabia, and the rest from the Arab-speaking countries. This number declined sharply in the past two years. On the other hand, according to the deputy director of tourism, the presence of 110,000 European tourists in the year 2017 suggests a one-percent growth in the number of foreign tourists in Iran.
Mohammad Moheb-Khodaei said that last year more than nine million Iranians had religious and leisure trips abroad. “Four million of these people went to religious trips, with more than two million of them traveling to Iraq to participate in the Arbaeen gathering, while the rest went to leisure trips abroad” he stated.
He also announced the creation of an integrated portal for cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts in the country. “On this portal, all tourism products are available online to professionals and applicants” he said. “20% of the loans allocated to the tourism and crafts sector is paid at a 6% rate” he continued.