Iran’s appeal as a destination for global tourists has shot up from this time last year.
International arrivals were up by 18.3 per cent from last year, figures released by travel intelligence analyst Forward Keys revealed.
The study comes ahead of the first ever Iran Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (IHTIC) which is taking place in Tehran from 7-8 February.
Olivier Jager, CEO of ForwardKeys, said: “Our findings support the conclusion that political change in Iran is making the country more approachable – an attractive place to visit and potentially do business.
“The image of Iran around the world is changing. Its many tourist attractions, historic, religious and spectacular, are once again being emphasised. I expect visitor numbers to increase, so long as Iran’s airport capacity can keep pace.”
The main source regions for air travel to Iran are North America, Europe and the Middle East. Together, they made up 83.7% of international arrivals during 2016.
Germany, with a market share of 14.3%, was up by 8.3%, this was followed by the USA (10.7%) up 9.3%. Bahrain, Canada and the UK, all had significant market shares as well, indicating a growth in visitors to Iran.
Figures showed there was a significant rise in visitors from China with 15.3% coming from that region, a 25.7 per cent increase from the previous year.