Plans to jump start Iran’s travel sector


Many businesses in Iran have been re-opened in compliance with health protocols.

The country has been divided up into white, orange/yellow and red regions based on the number of infections and deaths. On September 18, the entire country was in the red zone.

The Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Ministry admits that tourism has suffered badly but the country has vast tourism potential.

The negative impact of the U.S. sanctions on the national economy means that the country is facing restrictions on foreign currency exchange, but the development of tourism can partly meet the need for foreign currency.

The tourism ministry has developed a strategic plan for the development of the national tourism industry, which has just been ratified by the cabinet.

The strategic plan gives all related bodies, organisations, and institutes a clear mandate to assume defined duties to bolster the country’s tourism sector through coordinated policymaking.

The strategic plan is based on the Fifth Five-Year National Development Plan (2016-2021), and pursues sustainable tourism development through coordinated, inter-sectoral, and integrated policies. The plan also touches upon elements such as tourism management, business environment issues, tourism infrastructure, manpower, cultural concerns, and issues relating to foreign travellers, as well as advertising and marketing.

Defining main policies in the field of tourism, creating the ground for developing a national tourism development plan, implementing goals dynamically and efficiently, a more competitive environment, as well as empowering local tourism, natural and cultural tourism are among the other objectives of the strategic plan.

Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 8 million in 2019 to 20 million in 2025. The country is open to all nations for medical tourism and health tourism. Most medical tourists are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Oman and Azerbaijan.

A health certificate with a negative coronavirus PCR test result, issued at most 96 hours before arrival, is currently required for all travellers.

Iran hopes to attract business while competitors in Europe and India are mostly closed to medical tourists, and then keep them when normality resumes. Updated plans to promote and develop medical and health tourism are being worked on.



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