Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and his predecessors have insisted that Iran is a ‘terrorist state’, yet in the past continued to make arms dealings with her. In modern times, there has been a push from the small nation to compel the US to start a war with Iran. The justification is that Iran is a threat, and that somebody else needs to do what she wants done to Iran.
But is the threat really about the nation, or about the state of the economy? Likewise, is Iran really as much of a threat as she is presented at all? While PM Netanyahu has very strong words on this matter, they don’t exactly seem to match with reality, as Iran has not only become one of the top tourism destinations in the world, but also one of the fastest growing ones.
Last year, global tourism was on the rise, with a record-breaking 1.5 billion international tourist arrivals, according to the UN’s World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). This was 4 percent more than the overall tourist influx in 2018.
While France remained to be the world’s most visited country — with 90 million arrivals last year — some of the Caspian region’s countries, including Iran, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan ranked in the top 20 with the highest jump in visitor numbers year-on-year as demand for unconventional destinations grows. Russia and Turkmenistan were not included in the top 20.
Last year, trips to Iran rose by 27.9 percent, according to the latest statistics from the UNWTO. As of the previous fiscal year, which ended on March 20, 2019, Iran welcomed around 7.8 million tourists, of which a vast majority came from neighboring countries. According to data compiled by Iran’s Central Bank, the country’s tourism industry contributed $11.8 billion to the country’s GDP in the same period.
While tourism officials in Iran are optimistic about increasing global visitor interest to 20 million by 2025, some believe the country is likely to suffer a drop in visitors’ number following the assassination of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani late last year and a plane crash that killed all 176 people on board.
At the same time, many governments have already added Iran to their list of places to not travel, including the U.S. State Department. On December 26, 2019, Washington issued ‘‘do not travel’’ advisory for Iran, saying that ‘‘the U.S. government is unable to provide emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iran.’’
“These events are a major blow to tourism, but we will leave it behind by the means of new plans and we will definitely return to normal,” said Ali-Asghar Mounesan, Iran’s tourism minister, according to a report by Tehran Times. (source)
Terrorist nations are not places that people travel to for vacation. Tourists want to come home alive, and dead tourists are very bad for business.
If Iran was such as horrendous place, why does it have a burgeoning tourism industry?
Likewise, consider that Mexico is the second most violence place on Earth, and yet seventeen million people, of which ten million come from the US, vacation in Mexico each year. Iran is far from being one of the most dangerous places on earth, so why would she be more dangerous than Mexico?
While there is much that can be criticized about any nation, perhaps it would be a good thing to reconsider one’s perspective on Iran, and that in spite of the words from an Israeli man in a suit with a fancy title who appears on television giving speeches in fancy buildings, things may not be as bad in Iran as they are portrayed or at least, as how the perspective he tends to stir up within people would be.