Sun, 10 Dec 2023

TEHRAN, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- More than 3.35 million foreign tourists visited Iran between March 21 and September 22, the first half of the Iranian calendar year, up by 38 percent over the same period last year, an Iranian official said on Monday.

Ali Asghar Shalbafian, Iranian deputy minister of cultural heritage, handicrafts, and tourism, made the remarks at a press conference in the Iranian capital Tehran ahead of the World Tourism Day, which falls on Sept. 27, and the National Tourism Week, the Iranian Students' News Agency reported.

The decision by Iran and Iraq to waive travel visas for their citizens has increased the number of Iraqi tourists traveling to Iran, the official said, adding the rising number of Chinese tourists also contributed to the growth in the overall number of foreign tourists in Iran.

Meanwhile, the number of Azerbaijani tourists has dropped to 61,000 between March and September, compared with the yearly figure of 1.9 million in 2019, when Azerbaijan's border remained open to Iran ahead of the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the number of Afghan tourists also decreased due to domestic issues, Shalbafian said.

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