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2 Sep, 2015

Over 5 mln foreign tourists visited Iran in 6 months

Tehran, Sept 1, IRNA – Vice president and head of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization (CHTHO) said on Tuesday that some 5,100,000 foreign tourists visited Iran during last (Iranian) year (ended on March 20, 2014).

Speaking on the occasion of the Government Week, Masoud Soltanifar said that the increase in foreign tourists’ entry is thanks to the proactive foreign policy of President Hassan Rouhani’s cabinet.

The CHTHO chief said that some 50% of the foreign tourists are pilgrims of Iran’s holy sites in Qom and Mashad, Shi’a Muslims wishing to use Iran’s religious tourism capacities.

On the nationality of the tourists, the vice president said that some 1,6 million of them were from Iraq, some 500 thousand from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and other southern countries of the Persian Gulf, some 300 thousand from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Central Asian countries, all visitors of Iran’s holy sites.

He said that even the pilgrims of the Iranian holy sites, after their pilgrimage visit the beautiful nature of our country and the Iranian historical monuments.

Soltanifar added that the Western and Southeast Asian countries’ tourists initially visit the country’s historical and cultural attractions and they usually visit the attractions of the Iranian two major central deserts.

In another report, IRNA said that Emirates airlines will launch Dubai-Mashad flights on September 1,. Managing director of Khorassan-e Razavi Province Airports Company told IRNA that the number of active foreign airlines with regular flights to Mashad’s Martyr Hasheminezhad International Airport thus reaches 16.

Qasem Jabbarzadeh said that the foreign airlines and various Iranian airlines currently have flights to 21 foreign destinations from Mashad Airport and vice versa.

‘The new Emirati airline’s flights will be on five days a week, excluding Saturdays and Thursdays,’ he said. Jabbarzadeh also said that the Emirate Airlines’ plane in this flight is an Airbus 330, capable of carrying 237 passengers in each flight.

Mashad is the second Iranian city to which Emirates Airlines, one of the world’s top airlines, has regular flights next to the Iranian capital city, among its daily international flights to 240 cities around the globe. Earlier, the Mashad-Dubai flights were exclusively run by the UAE’s Fly Dubai and Iran’s Mahan airlines, which still have their flights.

Mashad’s Martyr Hasheminezhad International Airport is among the high traffic Iranian airports with annual traffic of 8,300,000 passengers. The number of flights to an from this airports on regular days is around 160 and on heavy air traffic days around 200 to 230 flights, 32 of them being international flights carrying 160,000 foreign passengers to and from Mashad each month.