Health and tourism officials from over 20 Muslim countries came under one roof on Tuesday to inaugurate the 4th edition of the Intl. Congress of Health in Islamic Countries.
Congress of Health in Islamic Countries.Held in the capital Tehran, the 3-day event seeks to boost the level of cooperation among Muslim states in the medical sector.
Since 2017, the country’s health tourism has witnessed a sudden boost, with the number of tourists seeking medication in Iran doubling to over 300,000 each year.
The reason has to do with the fall in Iran’s national currency against the US dollar, which has acted as a blessing in disguise and made medication prices in Iran unrivaled, considering the high-quality services Iranian clinics offer to foreign patients.
Something which has made Iran a strong rival for the tourist-magnet and Iran’s next-door neighbor, Turkey! Last year, Iran made 1 bn dollars in revenue from its health tourism; that is 10-percent of the country’s total income from the tourism sector.
These figures promise a bright future for Iran’s tourism, and officials hope that it can be a viable alternative to the fluctuating oil revenues.> The oil industry has been the sole engine spinning the wheels of Iran’s economy for more than half a century.
Given the vulnerability of oil prices to political and economic developments, Iran is in an all-out effort to find a replacement for petro-money.
Experts believe health tourism is the answer to this problem.
To get to this figure, Iran is working to improve the required infrastructure; in this event, Iranian health officials will sign MoUs with countries such as Serbia, Oman, Iraq and Turkey to facilitate visa issuance to health tourists as the first step toward a tourism-based economy.