Post-coronavirus: Iran formulating action plan to return tourism to normal

April 15, 2020 - 0:14

TEHRAN – Iran’s tourism has announced it is developing an action plan to get the country’s travel back on track after the threat of novel coronavirus is over. Like many other countries, Iran’s travel industry has suffered huge losses in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Very good plans have been made in this regard for the time after the containment of the coronavirus, and I am confident that we will once again see a boom in the tourism industry and compensate the losses, Vali Teymouri, the deputy tourism minister, said on Tuesday.

“The virus has targeted travels and communication, and the [global] tourism industry has suffered the most from the virus to such an extent that never happened since World War II,” CHTN quoted Teymouri as saying on Tuesday.

“The damage was more severe for our country because we faced this problem at the high season of our domestic trip,” he said.

“In other words, we witnessed the outbreak of this virus during the golden time of Nowruz, which is (traditionally) the heyday of our domestic and foreign tourism.”

The official, however, didn’t provide further detail on the ministry’s plan to jumpstart tourism.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Director Gloria Guevara told El Mundo announced late in February that the global outbreak of the new coronavirus, known as COVID-19, will cost world tourism at least $22 billion owing to a drop in spending by Chinese tourists.

Earlier this month, Iran tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan proposed the government to announce days off after the country overcomes the virus crisis in a bid to help the battered sector.

The country’s tourism suffered several times over the past year Persian year (ended March 20) from various upheavals including the U.S. sanctions aimed to cripple Iran’s economy, flash floods in March 2019, the [mistakenly] downing of a Ukrainian jetliner in January, and ultimately the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Some 6.7 million foreign nationals visited Iran during the first nine months of the past Iranian calendar year, started March 21, 2019, according to data announced by the Foreign Ministry’s visa and passport department. Iran welcomed some 7.8 million foreign nationals a year earlier, achieving a 52.5 percent increase year on year.

The ancient land embraces hundreds of historical sites such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 22 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, the country aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

AFM/MG

Leave a Comment

7 + 3 =