The number of domestic and foreign tourists visiting Tehran has dropped 50 percent compared to previous years, according to Delavar Bozorgnia, the director of Tehran’s Cultural Heritage Organization.

Mr. Bozorgnia warned that the sharp decline would have a significant impact on Iran’s tourism industry.

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People walk at the Grand Bazaar in central Tehran October 7, 2015. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA

“Hotel, hostel and apartment bookings in Greater Tehran have dropped from 51.6 percent to 49.4 percent,” he said. “The trend will most likely continue under the current economic conditions.”

“Our latest data indicates that 302,216 tourists have visited Tehran” since the start of the Persian New Year on March 21, he said. “However, more than 620,000 people visited the capital during the same period last year.”

“The number of domestic and foreign tourists visiting Tehran has dropped by 58.95 percent and 51.73 percent, respectively, this year,” he added.

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Men use an elevator in a Tehran hotel, Iran August 23, 2015. REUTERS

Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi