According to the head of the Association of Hotel Owners in Fars province nearly 65 percent of hotels in Iran’s historic city of Shiraz in Fars Province, are by foreign tourists for the last quarter of 2017.
The province attracted more than 165,000 foreign tourists in a two-month period before June, showing a 42-percent growth compared with the same period last year, showing a significant rise in the number of European tourists visiting the ancient province.
Apart from the English-language tourism maps for Fars, the province has recently published maps in French and it is preparing maps in German, as more European tourists are rushing to visit the attractions of the historic region.
Fars Province, the heartland of Persian culture for over 2000 years, is home to myriads of historical sites dating back to Medes, Achaemenes, Parthian, Sassanid and Islamic eras. The capital city of Shiraz has long been viewed as the cradle of Persian poetry and the motherland of world-known Persian poets Hafez and Sa’adi.
The city is home to numerous ancient relics, architectural marvels, exquisite bazaars and gardens as well as other natural attractions.
According to the World Tourism Organization, Iran ranks 10th in terms of its potentials for historical attractions but ranks fifth for its natural attractions.
From among hundreds of thousands of historic sites in Iran, the country has registered over 32,000 sites as national heritage. The UNESCO has also listed 21 Iranian sites as World Heritage Sites.
Based on Iran’s Tourism Vision Plan, the country plans to increase the number of tourism arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million by 2025.
In late May, the World Economic Forum (WEF) announced Iran as the least expensive and one of the safest destinations for foreign tourists from among 136 countries for the third straight year. The WEF report was based on a variety of factors, including travel expenses, infrastructures, public services, transportation and security.
According to the WEF report, the daily expense for a foreign tourist in Iran ranges from 25 USD to 600 USD. In terms of security, the WEF report puts Iran ahead of many tourist destinations, including Russia, Turkey, and Thailand.