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Urbanization has contributed to significant growth in the service sector. In 2006 the sector ranked as the largest contributor to the GDP (45 percent) and employed 45 percent of workers. Important service industries include public services (including education), commerce, personal services, professional services (including health care), and tourism. The tourist industry declined dramatically during the war with Iraq in the 1980s but has subsequently revived. About 1,659,000 foreign tourists visited Iran in 2004; most came from Asian countries, including the republics of Central Asia, while a small share came from the countries of the European Union and North America. The most popular tourist destinations are Eşfahān, Mashhad, and Shīrāz.

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