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Iran Rated as Cheapest Destination for Foreign Tourists
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Vice-President and Head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) Massoud Soltanifar described Iran as a favorite and attractive tourist resort for foreigners, and said that the country has been rated as the cheapest destination for foreign tourists.
"Our country has ranked first in terms of cheap travel for (foreign) tourists according to 40 travel competitiveness indices," Soltanifar said, addressing a group of tourism officials in Tehran on Sunday.

He noted that the country plans to attract 20 million tourists in a 20-year period which will help the country gain $30 million in the said period.
In October, Soltanifar said that tourist trips to Iran are very attractive, important and cheap for foreigners while at the same time the country enjoys a high level of political and security stability.

He reiterated that Iran has important and remarkable capacities in different areas, including health, religious and historical tourism, and said several measures have been taken to facilitate visits of foreign tourists to Iran. "A two-week tourist visa is issued for the nationals of 190 countries at Iranian ports and airports."
"Iran is among 10 attractive countries in terms of attracting tourists," Soltanifar said.
Soltanifar noted that 4.8 million tourists visited Iran last year, and said, "Half of the foreign tourists visited the country's holy cities of Mashhad and Qom in the same period."
He said that during the first half of the current Iranian year (March 21-September 22), the number of foreign tourists showed a 200 percent growth compared with last year's corresponding period.
He noted that 90 percent of the foreign tourists come to visit Iran with the purpose of natural, historical and religious tourism, adding, "Only 10 percent of foreign tourists come to Iran to attend conferences."
Soltanifar noted that Iran has over one million historical and natural sites, adding that only 31,100 or nearly three percent of them have been registered.-