Iranian Vice-President and Head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) Massoud Soltanifar expressed pleasure that more foreign tourists are showing interest in traveling to the country recently despite the US-led western sanctions.
"Over 4.8 million foreign tourists visited Iran in the last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2014) and brought around $5.5 billion of revenues to the country despite all sanctions and limitations," Soltanifar said.
He noted that the number of foreign tourists visiting Iran has considerably risen, and said, "A large number of tourists have grown interested in travelling to Iran due to the positive approach of (President Hassan Rouhani's) government to interaction with the world countries and also due to the presence of historical, natural and cultural attractions in the country."
Soltanifar noted that Iran has over one million historical and natural sites of which only 31,100 or nearly three percent of them have been registered.
In March, Soltanifar invited foreigners to visit Iran's various tourist destinations, and stressed that the country enjoys high level of security for the foreign tourists.
"The security for tourists is in an ideal state in the country," Soltanifar said.
He pointed to the latest figures released by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), and said, "Tourists' requests to visit Iran in the past months has had a remarkable growth."
The senior official noted that the growth is the result of easing some of the anti-Iran sanctions in the past months which has taken place as a result of interim agreement reached between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany) in November 2013.
Also, earlier today Iranian First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri voiced satisfaction in the 300-percent rise in the number of foreign tourists traveling to the country in the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21-August 22).
"The number of foreign tourists visiting Iran has grown three times since the beginning of the current Iranian year," Jahangiri told reporters on Monday.