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Tehran to Host Intl Tourism Expo

The 13th International Tourism and Related Industries Exhibition is scheduled to open at Tehran’s International Fairground on Feb. 12, 2020.
The event will provide a platform for related organizations, unions, institutions and firms operating in the tourism sector to publicize their services. 
The expo is the only official event in the field of tourism and hotel management that has been registered on the calendar of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Its objectives include: introducing Iran"s tourism capacities, identifying challenges and barriers, creating more jobs, paving the way for more foreigners to visit Iran, introducing related firms, introducing latest innovations and introducing latest hotel management methods, the event’s website at www.titexgroup.com reported.
The four-day exhibition will conclude on Feb. 15.

30 Target Countries

Iran’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism has identified 30 target countries (out of 84 under study) to attract tourists from.
These target countries have been chosen using 13 indices that are themselves divided into 60 parameters.
The study and subsequent planning have been carried out by the ministry’s Marketing and Advertisement Bureau where 13 indices influencing inbound tourism were surveyed. The aim is to focus on the tastes and culture of tourists from the selected countries, work on the most effective ways of advertising Iran’s numerous and varied attractions and adopt the best marketing strategies to increase the number of visitors.
Iran’s political ties with the target countries, their per capita income and purchasing power, the source country’s special advantage for Iran, the expenditure of outbound tourists, the number of outbound tourists from these countries, Iran’s facilities in the source countries, average total expenses of each tourist for a weeklong trip, the number of incoming tourists from these countries to Iran, the number of direct flights with these countries, trade volume with the source countries, number of Iranian expatriates in those countries, the political, security and social status of the source countries and their population were the 13 indices.
The 30 selected countries are categorized and prioritized in four groups based on the 13 indices and the 60 parameters.
China, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Oman are placed in the first group (the top priority). 
The second includes Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Russia and Armenia. 
The third group consists of Germany, Italy, France, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Kazakhstan and the UAE and the last group comprises the UK, Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Georgia, Belgium, Denmark and Lebanon.
After selecting the target countries, the bureau plans to supply products and services to tourists from these source countries based on their needs and tastes. The aim is to add variety to Iran’s tourism market that mainly focuses on the country’s historical and cultural attractions. 
Some tourists from these countries demand services and products other than cultural and historical ones. They travel for pilgrimage, health or trade. Some are interested in agrotourism, literary tourism or nature trekking. The plan plans to meet the specific needs of tourists from each of the countries listed above.  

Growth in Number of Iran Visitors

According to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism, a total of 5,890,952 tourists visited Iran during the first seven months of the current Iranian year (March 21-Oct. 22) to register a 24% growth compared with the same period of last year.
Although rising tensions between Washington and Tehran are hitting visitor numbers, especially from Europe, the increasing number of travelers for religious and medical purposes is making up for the loss.
According to Ebrahim Pourfaraj of Iranian Tourism Association, the weak rial also helps bring in tourists to Iran. 
"They come on pilgrimage or for medical treatment. To an 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 & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019".
The report attributes Iran"s top ranking to low ticket taxes and airport charges (seventh), fuel prices (fifth) and high purchasing power (fifth).
Iran hosted 7.29 million foreign tourists in 2018, about 50% more compared to the year before, according to UNWTO.
The country had a 2.1% share from global tourist arrivals and more than 22% in South Asia last year.
A total of more than 4.86 foreign tourists visited Iran in 2017, 1.5% less compared to the year before.
A report by World Travel & Tourism Council indicates that Iraq was the main source of tourism for Iran last year as Iraqis constituted 24% of all inbound visitors. Other major sources were Azerbaijan (17%), Turkey (8%), Pakistan (4%) and Bahrain (2%). The remaining 46% came from the rest of the world.
Iranian authorities have redoubled efforts to boost the tourism sector to increase foreign currency revenues and create jobs. 
About 7.8 million tourists traveled to Iran during the last Iranian year that ended on March 20, 2019, to register a 52.5% growth compared with the preceding year.
"The development of tourism infrastructure, considerable investments in the tourism sector, issuance of electronic visa and visa waiver for target countries could be named as the main causes of the growth in the number of foreign travelers," Minister of Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Ali Asghar Mounesan said.


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