Deputy head of the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organisation Morteza Movahed
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Iran’s aiming for 20m tourists in 10 years time compared with 5.2m foreign visitors in the year ending March 2016, deputy head of the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organisation Morteza Movahed is reported as saying today.
Most foreign visitors come from neighbouring states including Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan, he said. Every foreign visitor is worth about $1,700 in foreign exchange earnings, Movahed added.
Iran has announced plans to modernise and increase the number of its hotels and make it easier for foreigners to visit the Islamic republic. Foreign interest in hotel investments is growing.
France’s AccorHotels opened the first internationally-branded hotel in Iran for more than 30 years in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport last October
“We have been watching the Iranian market for the past 12 years,” the company’s chief operating officer Christophe Landais told the Arabian Hotel Investment Conference (AHIC) in April. “It has the potential to become one of the world’s top 15 destinations. What is fascinating in Iran is the lack of hotels in terms of quantity and quality. Accor has strong ambitions to develop an extensive network covering all segments: Novotel, Pullman, Sofitel plus Ibis. “We aim to be a leader in this market.”
Spain’s Melia Hotels senior vice president Nima Davoodzadeh told AHIC his company is investing in a new hotel and resort project on the Iranian coast of the Caspian Sea.