Iran, Asia-Pacific countries discuss post-coronavirus tourism 

April 29, 2020 - 18:0

TEHRAN – Iran and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Asia-Pacific member states held a webinar on Tuesday, discussing ways to expand tourism in the region after coronavirus crisis ends. 

Representatives of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ministry as well as UNWTO Deputy Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific Hae Guk (Harry) Hwang attended the meeting, which was chaired by UNWTO Senior Media Officer of Communications and Publications Marcelo Risi, CHTN reported.  

The meeting was also attended by representatives of Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Singapore, South Korea, Bangladesh and Fiji.   

The fallout from the pandemic has devastated travel-related corporations and small businesses, as well as travelers throughout the world. Due to the coronavirus, many people across the globe remain afraid to travel as governments and health officials have warned the public to cancel travel plans and long flights. Major events like conferences, trade shows and festivals have been canceled or postponed. 

A recent study conducted by Tourism Economics predicts that compared to last year, the travel industry in 2020 will shrink by 50 percent, affecting airlines, hotels and restaurants, as well as corollary businesses. The number of international travelers could shrink from 1.4 billion to fewer than 1 billion: the first time the international traveler number has fallen that low since 2015.

On Monday, the head of the Association of Iranian Hoteliers Jamshid Hamzezadeh announced that the travel industry in Iran has lost 53 trillion rials (about $1.2 billion) just over the past two months due to coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Earlier this month, the UNWTO released a set of recommendations, calling for urgent and strong support to help the global tourism sector in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic that has crippled traveling and jeopardized related jobs all over the globe.

Formulated with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), the recommendations call on innovators and entrepreneurs to put forward new solutions to help the tourism sector recover from COVID-19.

UNWTO is also collaborating with World Health Organization (WHO) in launching “Healing Solutions for Tourism”, an innovation challenge to help the tourism sector recover from COVID-19, where millions of jobs are at risk as the pandemic hits hard. In the face of an unprecedented challenge, the UNWTO, with the support of the WHO, calls on innovators and entrepreneurs innovators to submit ideas that can be implemented immediately in destinations, businesses and public health efforts to help the tourism sector mitigate the impact of the pandemic and kick start recovery efforts.

According to the nonprofit World Travel and Tourism Council, which represents the international tourism industry, travel and tourism contributed $8.8 trillion to the global economy in 2018 and was responsible for 10.4 percent of all economic activity. The council estimates that travel and tourism are responsible for 319 million jobs around the world.


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