October 6, 2022

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A Potential Not Yet Realized: The State of Tourism in Iran

Iran’s tourism industry seems to be picking up again. But what are the critical metrics for this industry, and how does Iran compare to its neighbors?

Iran has warm sands, luscious beaches, high and cold mountains, flowing rivers by green forests, and a list of never-ending museums and historical buildings to offer for tourists. Yet, the country is behind UAE and Turkey regarding visitor numbers.

According to Flightio and its original Tourism Report, Judging by statistics for 2019, Turkey had 51 million visiting tourists. Same year Iran only had 9 million people visiting. UAE had 25 million, and Saudi Arabia welcomed 20 million tourists into the country.

These low numbers heavily impact the stagnation and decline of Iranian GDP. to put matters into a more apparent context, France’s tourism industry earned 2,985$ per french citizen in 2019. Iran’s latest annual budget sums up to only 1,440$ per citizen. 

Iran Tourism Statistics – Simplified

Tourism can be one of the main pillars of health for a country’s economic growth and stability. A boost in tourism numbers could directly help the development of GNP and GDP. Let’s delve into the numbers and see how Iran’s tourism health.

Income Per Tourist – 2018 Data

This data shows the average amount an incoming tourist has spent.

– Iran: $720 (Total of 7.30M Tourist – 5.25 billion dollar Income)

– UAE: $1,499 (Total of 23.09M Tourist – 38.41 billion dollar Income)

– Saudi Arabia: $966 (Total of 17.57M Tourist – 16.97 billion dollar Income)

– Oman: $886 (Total of 3.24M Tourist – 2.87 billion dollar Income)

– Qatar: $8,378 (Total of 23.09M Tourist – 15.24 billion dollar Income)

Tourism and GNP – 2018 Data

This data demonstrates the share of tourism in GNP.

– Iran: 1.8%

– UAE: 8.2%

– Saudi Arabia: 2.2%

– Oman: 3.1%

– Qatar: 8.3%

Next Course of Action

The next chapter could bear a fruitful future for the tourism industry. With covid numbers going down, all people want to do right now is travel. Traveling to Iran could be economical for many tourists. Inbound flights and hotels are mainly cheap and upscale hotels could be reserved for low prices.

What stands in the way is some regulatory history. Specific laws and regulations concerning everyday life make it harder to gain massive numbers of travelers. 

There also isn’t any cohesive and famous brand built around Iran. Ministry of Tourism tried its way with the Majestic Iran brand for some time, but it looks like a forgotten brand identity. Now is the time to take a page out of Turkey’s playbook and think of a solution, much like Vision 2024 did for Turkey. Vision 2024 made it clear that the country needed a mindset built around sustainable development, and they figured out the power of the brand image.

Qatar 2022 World Cup could also be a turning point for tourism in Iran. There is already talk of hosting ticket-holders in the south region of Iran. For that, we need to wait and recheck the data. You can access the full Iran Tourism Report at Flightio’s Discover Blog.

Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/475489/A-Potential-Not-Yet-Realized-The-State-of-Tourism-in-Iran

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