October 19, 2015

WAVE GOODBYE TO SANCTIONS:

AP Interview: Iran preparing for 'tsunami' of foreign tourists in post-sanctions era (ALI AKBAR DAREINI, 10/18/15, Associated Press)

Masoud Soltanifar, who is also Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization chief, said President Hassan Rouhani's moderate policies and the easing of visa rules are opening the door for the return of foreign tourists to Iran.

A country rich in historical and cultural treasures largely unseen by Western eyes, Iran will unveil an investment package of 1,300 projects in the coming days to attract foreign investment and boost the badly-hit tourism industry. Iran is home to 19 UNESCO-registered sites.

Even before sanctions are lifted, the number of foreigners visiting Iran has grown 12 percent in each of the past two years. In 2014, Iran hosted over 5 million tourists, bringing in some $7.5 billion in revenue.

About half were Shiite Muslims, the same religious denomination as most Iranians, and the other half were tourists from Europe, North America and east Asia.

"In the post-sanctions era, tourism is an industry that will get a boost more than any other sector," Soltanifar told the AP. "Tourism is certainly the driving engine to get Iran's economy out of recession. Iran's tourism sector is a flourishing market for investors. We are anticipating a tsunami of tourists after sanctions are lifted."

Posted by at October 19, 2015 11:23 AM
  

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