Feb 11, 2019 17:25 Asia/Tehran

Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism organization, has praised the magnificent presence of the Iranian people in 11 February nationwide rallies.

Iran Press/Iran news: Congratulating the Iranian people on the occasion, Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism organization, Ali Asghar Mounesan said: "I'm glad to see that after the passage of 40 years, the Iranian people have such a massive and magnificent presence and it is unbelievable that in this rainy weather, they are still staunchly supporting the government and economic problems have not  resulted in people turning away from the Islamic government."

In an exclusive interview with Iran Press on the sidelines of the rally, Mounesian added: "Within the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism sector, we have seen big changes. We had just three registered world heritage sites in Iran before the Islamic Revolution, but today we have no less than 23 registered world heritage sites, and this is despite the fact that we were involved in an imposed war for eight years."

Ali Asghar Mounesan said: "Over six million foreign tourists visit Iran every year which is a significant number and we earned $7.5 billion from foreign tourists and the tourism sector at last year. On the other hand, before the revolution, handicrafts were insignificant as far as exports were concerned, but today export of handicrafts has reached $520 million - a significant foreign currency earner for Iran."

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According to Head of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism organization, before, Iran had just 260 hotels, but now there are more than 1400 hotels in the country. He said tourism projects in Iran are worth 120 thousand billion toumans.  Also 2000 tourism projects are currently underway in the country.

"Before, there was a handful of museums in the country, but now we have 666 museums in Iran", Mounesan added.

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In further remarks, Mounesan said: "We have near 4700 travel  agencies, while the number was just over  20 before the revolution. The 20 tourism guides before the revolution have reached to 11000 now. So in all sectors we have had achievements, so we hope that our entry into the fifth decade of the revolution is accompanied with more success and achievements."

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