Iran invests $220 million in tourism
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization will invest 7 trillion rials (about $220 million) to implement 30 projects to promote tourism in the country. The investments will be made to build hotels, guest houses, and accommodation camps across the country, the IRNA news agency quoted CHTHO Director Masoud Soltanifar as saying on Saturday.
The National Development Fund will provide financing for the projects, he added.
Iranian First Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri said in August that the government plans to offer incentives for tourism investment projects.
Tourism investors will be granted low-interest loans, plots of land, and facilities to establish hotels, he added.
On June 23, CHTHO Deputy Director Morteza Rahmani-Movahed said visits to Iran by foreign tourists rose 215 percent in spring 2014 compared to spring 2013.
"Over 23,600 foreign tourists visited Iran in the three-month period, compared with 7,500 last year," Rahmani-Movahed noted.
Foreign visitors to Iran are the most visible effect of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani's drive to mend relations with the West, an influx that generated as much as $5 billion for the country's sanction-hit economy over the past year. For the first time since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, international hotel chains are now plotting a return, while European airlines are adding or restoring links with Tehran.