Iran: Tourist Arrivals Increase 24% to Over 5.8 Million

  • Nov 24, 2019

 24% growth compared to last year

Atotal of 5,890,952 tourists visited Iran during the first seven months of the current fiscal year (March 21-Oct. 22) to register a 24% growth compared with the same period of last year, according to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism.

This is while earlier statistics suggested the country saw a 26.34% rise year-on-year in tourist arrivals during the first half of the current fiscal year (March 21-Sept. 22).

What's more, 890,952 tourists visited Iran during the seventh fiscal month (Sept. 23-Oct. 22), indicating a 12.5% rise compared with last year’s similar month.

Latest statistics also show some six million Iranians traveled across the country during the seven months to Oct. 22, up by 23% YOY, the Persian economic daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.

Iraq, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Turkey and Pakistan are the main source of tourists to Iran.


Although rising tensions between Washington and Tehran are hitting visitors, the increasing number visiting for religious and medical purposes is making up for the loss.

According to Ebrahim Pourfaraj from Iranian Tourism Association, the weak rial helps bring in tourists to Iran.  "They come on pilgrimages or for medical treatment. To some extent, that makes up for the losses," he told DW in an interview.

Iran has been ranked first worldwide in terms of price competitiveness in the World Economic Forum's "The Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019" with a score of 6.7.

Scores range from 1 to 7 where 1 means worst and 7 means best.

The report attributes Iran's top ranking to low ticket taxes and airport charges (7th), fuel prices (5th) and high purchasing power (5th).

“A total of 4,258,944 Iranians traveled overseas during the same period, indicating a year-on-year increase of 15.95%,” Teymouri told ISNA.

The devaluation of Iran's national currency rial against foreign currencies last year has had a dual effect: On the one hand, it has led to a decline in the purchasing power of Iranians overseas, but on the other hand has given a boost to the inbound tourism sector as travelling to Iran has become cheaper for foreign holiday-goers.