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Tourism in Iran

Tourism in Iran

Iran recorded a total of 9 m tourists in 2019, ranking 46th in the world in absolute terms.

The fact that larger countries regularly perform better in a comparison of the absolute number of guests is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of Iran, the result is much more comparable picture: With 0.11 tourists per resident, Iran ranked 148th in the world. In South Asia, it ranked 3rd.

Iran generated around 4.63 bn US Dollar in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 2.4 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 11 percent of all international tourism receipts in South Asia.

A global comparison can be found here › International tourism


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On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2017 spent about 833 US Dollars. Conversely, the inhabitants of Iran spend as much as 991 dollars a year when they themselves spend vacations abroad.

Tourism in Iran

Development of the tourism sector in Iran from 1995 to 2019

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered in Iran each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g. crew members of ships or flights are also not considered as tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

Data in the chart are given in millions of tourists. The red line represents the average of all 8 countries in South Asia.

Tourists per year in Iran

Revenues in tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 205.00 m USD, or about 0.21 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 452,000 tourists at that time and roughly 454 USD per person. Within 22 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased drastically. In the last year of the survey, the revenue now amounts to 4.63 bn USD, accounting for 1.0 percent of the gross national product. Each visitor now spends an average of 952 USD for his holiday in Iran.

Tourism receipts in Iran per year

All data for Iran in detail

YearNumberof touristsReceipts% of GNPIncome per tourist
20199.11 m
20187.30 m
20174.87 m4.63 bn $1.0 %952 $
20164.94 m3.91 bn $0.94 %792 $
20155.24 m4.77 bn $1.2 %911 $
20144.97 m4.20 bn $0.97 %845 $
20134.77 m3.31 bn $0.72 %693 $
20123.83 m2.48 bn $0.41 %648 $
20113.35 m2.49 bn $0.43 %742 $
20102.94 m2.63 bn $0.54 %896 $
20092.12 m2.26 bn $0.55 %1,068 $
20082.03 m1.98 bn $0.49 %972 $
20072.22 m1.95 bn $0.56 %879 $
20062.74 m1.46 bn $0.55 %535 $
20051.89 m1.03 bn $0.45 %543 $
20041.66 m1.31 bn $0.69 %787 $
20031.55 m1.27 bn $0.82 %819 $
20021.59 m1.61 bn $1.2 %1,014 $
20011.40 m1.12 bn $0.88 %800 $
20001.34 m677.00 m $0.62 %504 $
19991.32 m559.00 m $0.49 %423 $
19981.01 m656.00 m $0.59 %651 $
1997764,000190.00 m $0.17 %249 $
1996573,000142.00 m $0.12 %248 $
1995452,000205.00 m $0.21 %454 $


All data correspond to the information of the World Tourism Organization.

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