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Over 2,500 Tourism Projects Worth $7.4 Billion Underway in Iran, Minister Says

More than 2,500 tourism-related projects worth 3.7 quadrillion rials ($7.4 billion) are currently underway across Iran, the tourism minister said on Wednesday.

“At present, there are 2,580 tourism projects worth quadrillion rials under construction all over the country,” Ezatollah Zarghami said.

“When the projects are completed, they are expected to generate jobs for more than 100,000 people,” he said.

The minister said more than 900 tourism projects estimated to be worth 2.1 quadrillion rials (about $4.2 billion) have been completed and inaugurated over the past two years.

According to Zarghami, foreign arrivals in Iran saw a rise of 50 percent in the first two months of the current Iranian calendar year from a year earlier. “The Islamic Republic recorded about 850,000 international arrivals during the first two months of the year, which shows over 50 percent growth year on year,” the minister said.

Such an accelerating trend continued during the third month of the year when 550,000 travelers visited the country, the minister said.

In a bid to boost its tourism industry, Iran has set its sights on attracting visitors, mostly from neighboring countries. It currently considers scrapping visa requirements for passport holders of 60 countries, including the neighboring states.

The number of medical tourists visiting Iran is around one million per annum, an official with the Health Ministry has said. Moreover, Iran, as the largest Shia Muslim power, receives a steady flow of religious pilgrims to the holy cities of Mashhad and Qom as well as its other religious destinations.

The ancient land boasts a wide variety of scenarios, ranging from seacoasts and lush green woods to towering mountains and harsh deserts. It is a wallet-friendly destination for nature lovers, birdwatchers, powder chasers, culture devotees, pilgrims, museum-goers, gastronomes, adventurers, and medical travelers, to name a few.