Tourism in Iran is diverse, providing a range of activities from hiking and skiing in the Alborz mountains, to beach holidays by the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. The Iranian government has been making concerted efforts to attract tourists to the various destinations in the country and arrivals have increased during the past years. Kish Island alone attracts around 1 million visitors per year, the majority of whom are Iranian.[
Before the Iranian revolution, tourism was characterized by significant numbers of visitors traveling to Iran for its diverse attractions, boasting cultural splendours and a diverse and beautiful landscape suitable for a range of activities. Tourism declined dramatically during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s.
Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, the majority of foreign visitors to Iran have been religious pilgrims and businesspeople. Official figures do not distinguish between those travelling to Iran for business and those coming for pleasure, and they also include a large number of diaspora Iranians returning to visit their families in Iran or making pilgrimages to holy Shia sites near Mashhad and elsewhere. Domestic tourism in Iran is one of the largest in the world. the government continues to project strong rises in visitor numbers and tourism revenue for the foreseeable future, and to talk of projects to build an additional 100 hotels, for example, to expand its currently limited stock. In 2013, the number of foreign tourists in Iran reached 4.76 million, contributing more than $2 billion to the national economy. The strong devaluation of the Iranian Rial since early 2012 is also a positive element for tourism in Iran. Over five million tourists visited Iran in the fiscal year of 2014-2015, ending March 21, four percent more year-on-year.
According to a report published by World Travel and Tourism Council in 2015 the size of its tourism industry – including cultural and ecotourism as major components of it – is estimated as having the potential to create jobs for 1,285,500 and rise by 4.1% pa to 1,913,000 jobs in 2025. based on the report in the year of 2014 Travel & Tourism directly supported 413,000 jobs (1.8% of total employment). This is expected to rise by 4.4% in 2015 and rise by 4.3% pa to 656,000 jobs (2.2% of total employment) by 2025.