New tourism destinations should be made known: official

June 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s deputy chief of tourism has suggested that lesser-known travel destinations should be properly introduced to people in order to have a balanced domestic tourism.

“We can advise people about the right manners of traveling. The public are accustomed to [go on] spontaneous solo trips that bear high costs, while they can be ushered to quality travels, [which can be] arranged by the private sector,” CHTN quoted Vali Teymouri as saying on Saturday.

Talking about current state of domestic tourism in the country, the official said, “Though, the economic situation of people has been changed, traveling is still on the agenda for them [referring to the months of economic recession and sharp rises in the value of foreign currencies, which were triggered by the U.S.-imposed sanctions],” he explained.

For instance, people continued to have [traditional] travels this Noruz [holidays] despite the economic pressure, countrywide flooding and rising floodwaters, he said, adding “It shows that traveling is still a priority for our people and is part of the household expenses.”

“For the time being, it is important that we can provide further and cheaper travel [packages] for the people. The Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization acts just as a planner and it cannot do anything about allocating funds for people’s travels.”

Traditionally, millions of Iranians hit the roads heading for the provinces of Mazandaran and Gilan, Khorasan Razavi, Isfahan, Fars, Bushehr, Hormozgan, and Khuzestan in summertime and during Noruz holidays, which results in heavy traffics and extra rise of costs. 

Some 18 million people made domestic travels during the two-week New Year (Noruz) holidays, starting March 21, which shows a six percent year-on-year increase, based on data compiled by the CHHTO.

Commenting on ways to promote tourism, Teymouri said, “Lending to people is not a right and rational manner [to promote tourism]. In this context, an effective action is to give guidance... Instead of going to places that are lots of traffic jam and packed with tourists, people can change their destinations to where that there is still demand.”

“In such destinations, costs are often cheaper than other places. This way, the main goal of the Tourism Organization, which is a balanced distribution of travelling in the country, can be achieved.”

Earlier in March, CHHTO Director Ali-Asghar Mounesan estimated that domestic trips would grow by 20 percent in Noruz, saying “This year, there have been three million dropping of foreign travels, and if this [figure] is to be added to domestic travels, we will have a 20 percent increase in [the number of domestic] travels during Noruz.”

Iran embraces a good number of ancient cultural heritage and monuments including bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, gardens, rich natural, rural landscapes as well as 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

AFM/MQ/MG

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