The diplomatic relations between the US and Iran have thawed and the recent lifting of sanctions sparked a scramble to open the country up to visitors, says the WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International.
Released today (Monday 2 November) at World Travel Market London, the report predicts the Middle Eastern country has the potential to be a key tourism player, thanks to its unique culture and heritage.
The country looks set to exploit its ancient Persian history, 17 World Heritage Sites, and more unlikely tourism attractions such as 19 ski resorts, and opportunities for mountain climbing and bird-watching.
The WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary at WTM London 2015, reveals the Iranian government has already taken steps to boost tourism by enabling many nationalities, such as French, German and Russian, to obtain a visa upon arrival.
And the country is currently exhibiting at World Travel Market London 2015, hosting a delegation of six tour companies eager to do business with tour operators and travel agents from across the globe.
The United Arab Emirates-based Rotana Hotel Group has a brand aimed at Muslim travellers – Rayhaan Hotel and Resorts – and the company is preparing for four properties to open in Tehran and Mashhad by 2018.
“With the lifting of sanctions, we are sure that all developers and operators will be racing to secure their position in one of the world’s largest untapped markets,” said Omer Kaddouri, Rotana’s President and Chief Executive.
However, the report highlights hurdles to tourism developments, saying: “The years of international isolation have left the tourism infrastructure in need of major investment.
“Banking processes are a key area of reform as online or credit card payments are virtually impossible inside Iran.
“There is a lingering threat of violence and instability in the country, and safety and security will need to be a priority if international tourism is to grow in Iran.”
World Travel Market London, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “Since the international deal to lift sanctions was sealed in the summer, there have been many overseas firms looking to do business in Iran – and tourism companies are leading the way.
“A major influx of overseas visitors is expected, and, as the country recovers from its international exile, Iranians will see economic benefits, which will translate into increased domestic travel.”
Euromonitor International, Head of Travel, Caroline Bremner said: “Tourists on religious, historical or nature trips accounted for an estimated 90% of the annual five million international arrivals to the country in 2014.
“There is certainly pent-up demand to visit Iran, and it is centrally located with good air links to Africa, Europe and Asia – so we expect those tourist numbers to boom.”
About WTM Global Trends Report, in association with Euromonitor International
Celebrating 10 years of partnership, the leading global travel event World Travel Market (WTM) and strategic global market research provider Euromonitor International are pleased to reveal the top travel trends in the WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International. For ten consecutive years, the report has been at the forefront of accurately predicting major travel trends around the world, looking at how the travel industry is developing in a rapidly changing landscape. The WTM Global Travel Trends Report, in association with Euromonitor International, offers an insight into to the size and shape of travel and tourism and identifies pressing industry issues, emerging brands, destinations and demographics, growth categories and consumer trends.
About World Travel Market London
WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
WTM London, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com
World Travel Market Events
World Travel Market is comprised of the leading leisure travel events in the world; World Travel Market London, WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, WTM Africa in Cape Town and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
New events for 2016 are WTM connect Asia and WTM connect China, which join WTM connect Ski and International Golf Travel Market. These unique one-to-one events are targeted at leisure and niche travel markets, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite hosted buyers.
The World Travel Market events are attended by the global travel and tourism industry’s senior executives to conduct business deals and discover the latest research, insight and opinion.
In 2014, the World Travel Market events facilitated around $7 billion in industry deals from negotiations between the more than 15,000 buyers, 9,500 exhibitors (1,500 main stand holders and 8,000 stand sharers) in attendance of its four events.
WTM is part of Reed travel Exhibitions, the leading events organizer in the travel industry, and is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions.
Reed Travel Exhibitions
Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.
RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM World and International Luxury Travel Market.
RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.
About Reed Exhibitions
Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.
About Euromonitor International
Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have over 40 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets. We deliver market research solutions to support strategic planning for today’s increasingly international business environment. Our research offers in-depth market analysis on consumer goods and services industries worldwide, as well as economic, demographic and socio-economic data and insight on countries and consumers. Euromonitor International is headquartered in London, with regional offices in Chicago, Singapore, Shanghai, Vilnius, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Dubai, Cape Town, Tokyo, Sydney and Bangalore, and has a network of over 800 analysts worldwide.