More Americans Visiting Iran
Monday, January 2, 2017
Iran has seen an 11.5% increase in American visitors year-on-year, as of September 2016, according to the US National Travel and Tourism Office's latest data.
The information compiled by Fortune with the help of Euromonitor International notes that after sanctions on the Iranian economy were removed in January, the country has witnessed an upswing in American passport holders, Karavaniq.com reported.
The latest US data are backed by Iranian data that note that during the past two years, the Islamic Republic saw a 12% rise in US visitors.
Figures for 2016 are not available currently, but 2015 saw more than 5.2 million foreign tourists entering the country, according to data from Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.
Iran’s goal is to attract some 20-25 million visitors by 2025, which would constitute a fourfold increase in current numbers. By hitting their target, officials hope to increase the country's annual tourism revenue from $7.5 billion to $30 billion.
Meanwhile, US citizens remain one of the smallest groups of foreigners entering the country, as restrictions deter many Americans from coming.
Tehran’s government stipulates that citizens of the United States, Canada and Britain must apply for visas at Iranian embassies in their respective countries.
Restrictions on American tourists are more stringent, as they must have a certified tour guide accompanying them on their travels, which deter many from coming.
Demographically, a significant proportion of American and Western European tour groups heading to Iran are retirees and purchase their trips as part of package tours.
Source: Financial Tribune