Applying health protocols is a priority for tourism recovery, Rouhani says

June 6, 2020 - 18:3

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani has emphasized the need for formulating health protocols as a top priority to get the tourism and handicrafts industry back on the right track as the sector is suffering from a grave recession in the midst of a coronavirus lockdown.

“Given the successful return of many economic sectors to act in compliance with health protocols, officials and managers of the tourism industry must closely work with the Coronavirus Combat Operations Headquarters to design and implement the necessary health guidelines in a manner that would work accurately and effectively,” Rouhani said. 

The president made the remarks on Friday in a phone call with Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan, CHTN reported. 

New protocols are expected to make tourism destinations, hotels, recreation centers, and restaurants to comply with the health criteria required under the new normal scenario implementation. The stride came a couple of months ago when the novel coronavirus pandemic, opened for change of global tourism trend to a paradigm which puts health, hygiene, safety, and security on the top priority during traveling. 

“People should be able to make their trips while they are adapting to coronavirus measures. That would lead to the tourism industry being flourished again, and related businesses to come out of recession.”

Rouhani also referred to craftspeople and their economic hardships caused by the pandemic, saying “Handicraft productions are important as they constitute an essential area of economic activity in people’s lives, especially in rural areas, yet handicrafts bear one of the important elements of cultural identity.” 

Thrive in handicrafts along with other economic sectors helps sooner to materialize the national goal of 'Surge in Production’, he noted. 

“Considering the domestic market and the export share of handicrafts, we must accelerate, using a carefully-designed plan, to lay the ground for activists in this field, along with other industries, to realize the 'Surge in Production’ with the participation of the people.”

Iran’s tourism ministry has forecast that the country will start hosting foreign travelers as of mid-summer with the priority given to travelers from the neighboring countries.

“We are constantly monitoring [our target] countries and we have decided, in the first phase, to resume tourism interactions with the neighboring countries,” ISNA quoted Mohammad-Ebrahim Larijani, the director of the ministry’s advertising and marketing office, as saying on Friday.

The rapid spread of the novel coronavirus has plunged the travel and tourism industry and economy in the global scene over that past couple of months as passenger traffic on airlines and hotel occupancy rates have fallen off a cliff compared to the same periods previous years.

Deputy tourism minister Vali Teymouri said earlier in May that Iran’s tourism industry will get back on the right track sooner than expected thanks to measures taken to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
“I believe that tourism industry of the country will get back on the right track far sooner than generally expected thanks to the measures taken to deal with the spread of coronavirus in tourist destinations, hotels, stopovers, and all the centers which are affiliated with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts,” Teymouri said in an exclusive interview with the Tehran Times.

Some experts expect Iran to achieve a tourism boom after coronavirus contained, believing its impact would be temporary and short-lived for a country that ranked the third fastest-growing tourism destination in 2019.

The Islamic Republic expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 24 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, it aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

AFM/MG

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