Realizing the importance of tourism in Iran, from a multi-dimensional perspective, more particularly as an option for the development of the national economy by way of earning foreign exchange, creating of job opportunities and the like, the national government has been making consistent efforts to provide funds for various state schemes aiming at the expansion of tourism.
Tourism being a socio-economic phenomenon has become the world’s largest and fastest growing industry. It has been identified to highly contribute to economic development. Under the impact of industrialization, per capita income has increased, and people have started having more leisure due to mass production methods. Similarly, the mass media like T.V. networks and newspapers have brought awareness about distant places of interest. This has generated many people to travel and visit these places. Such a process has highly contributed to the flourishing of tourism at national level. Other infrastructures such as hotels, communications, car-ownership and other facilities have got added up and improved tourism in Iran. The growth of tourism highly depends on the quality of tourism management not only in Iran, but in every other country. Traditionally, many Iranians while going for holiday-waking, they try to fix up with some relatives at the destination to stay with. That is for two reasons; one is to economize their holiday-making, and the other reason is because they cannot easily find accommodation at the destination during the touring season.
However, more existence of tourism potential does not lead to the development of the industry, but an integrated management approach towards development of tourism is necessary, as the latter is a multi – faceted industry. In recent years, Iran has come to adopt progressive policies in order to uplift tourism in Iran.
Under the current socio-economic change in the country, the demand for tourism is ever increasing, yet the resources need to be expanded and applicable. The functionality of the system is one of the aims/objectives of the government. Till recently, Iran did not realize the importance of fully tapping the tourism potential. The contribution of tourism in terms of foreign exchange accruals is shown under the item ”invisibles” in the balance of payment data.
The need for planned development is of paramount importance in the field of tourism. Many countries in the world including Iran have lately realized the importance of tourism and the benefits which it brings out. As mentioned before, the increasing significance of tourism as a source of income, employment generation, regional development, and as a major factor in the balance of payments for many countries (Bhatia, 1996), has been attracting increasing attention with special reference to an interest in economic development. Thus, tourism development has become more and more a particular field of research in economic planning not only in Iran, but undertaken by many countries.
Overall, tourism expanded swiftly as world economy improved. That is why more and more travellers are increasingly seeking new places to visit. As also stressed by UN, a country should see a steady growth in the number of new tourist resorts developed, to the extent permitted by its economic resources.
So far as tourist activities in Iran are concerned, the existing possibilities of tourist satisfaction and tourist activities are ever being developed, protected and encouraged. So far as Iran is concerned, under the conditions of increasing high education within the young generation, improvement in the standard and quality of life, improvement in communication networks, improvement in economic cycle as a whole etc., tourist activities are increasing more domestically rather than internationally.
Domestic tourism is the best and foremost alternative for Iranians since they cannot easily afford to spend on international travel and tourism. (Sadr Khonsari, 2002). Attractions are a vital component of Iran’s tourism scene. Indeed, this is often the single most important reason for tourists to visit a destination. Visitations, in turn stimulate for the growth of related sectors such as accommodation, transportation, and entertainment (Youell, 2000). Secondly, domestic tourism is highly encouraged in Iran in order to reduce the pressures and constraints of urban life.
Source: Domestic Tourism in Iran (M.T Sheykhi)