According to statistics from the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the share of tourism industry in the Iranian GDP is nearly $119 million (2.4%), which is expected to rise to 4% in 2023. Currently, there are 475,000 Iranians working in the tourism-related industries, making up 1.2% of the total workforce in Iran. According to government plans, it should increase to 3.2% by 2023.
According to statistics released by the World Tourism Organization, Iran's tourism industry grew by 12% during 2016, whereas the global tourism growth was only 4%. That is perhaps why the private sector investment in tourism during 2016 had an expansion rate of 20 to 30 percent. Nonetheless, according to a statement by the head of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, only 4.6% of the world's foreign tourists visited Iran over the last two years.
During 2013, approximately 4,800,000 people arrived in Iran during 2014 and 5,100,000 during 2015. There was a growth by 300,000 visitors later in 2016. Nevertheless, the Perspective Document, half through the Sixth Development Plan, was expected to attract nearly 8 million foreign tourists into Iran.