The number of foreign visitors traveling to the northeastern city of Mashhad by train saw an increase of 5% during the first three months of the current Iranian year (March 21-June 21) compared to the same period last year.
During the three-month period, Mashhad hosted a total of 28,184 rail passengers and pilgrims who came from Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, India and Persian Gulf littoral states.
Back in June, Gholamabbas Arbab Khales, the head of Foreign Ministry’s Mission in East and North Iran, announced that the arrival of foreign tourists to Mashhad increase by 15-20% annually, according to the number of visas on arrival that are issued by the mission.
Mashhad, the capital of Khorasan Razavi province, attracts thousands of domestic pilgrims each day. The raison d’être is the holy shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Shi'a Imam.
The metropolis embraces dozens of five-star hotels, hotel apartments and hostels. It has the highest concentration of water parks in the country, and it is also home to a variety of cultural and historical sites, which are generally crowded.
International travelers spent some $11.8 billion in Iran over the past Iranian calendar year (1397), according to data compiled by the Central Bank of Iran.
The number of international tourists visiting the Islamic Republic surged 52.5 percent in 1397 from a year earlier, according to the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.