49 tourism projects worth $273m to come on stream

June 29, 2020 - 19:26

TEHRAN – A total of 49 tourism projects, worth 11,500 billion rials (some $273m at the official rate of 42,000 rials) will soon be inaugurated across the country.

The projects will be inaugurated in 12 provinces, adding 774 rooms and 2,131 beds to the country’s hospitality sector and creating 1,253 jobs, said Alireza Baay, the public relations director at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the official noted that over 5.7 million overnight stays, mainly by domestic travelers, were recorded across Iran during the month of Khordad (May 21 –June 20) at authorized accommodation centers such as hotels, traditional lodging houses, eco-lodge units, pilgrim's guest houses, apartment hotels, guest houses, and tourist centers.

Referring to the reopening of tourism centers following months of closure due to the coronavirus outbreak, he noted “These statistics show that Iran's tourism boom will be realized sooner than expected.”

During Khordad, over 11,000 surveillance visits were made to tourist facilities including accommodation centers, restaurants, catering businesses, travel agencies, restaurants across the country, which shows the ministry’s simultaneous attention to travel and travel safety, he explained.

He also reminded of the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s recent message to the ministry of tourism, in which UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili praised Iran’s efforts made to manage the travel industry during the pandemic.

“A series of measures that the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts of Iran has taken, in accordance with the guidelines and recommendations of UNWTO, has truly earned plaudits as an effective practice to mitigate the impact on tourism,” a segment of the message reads.

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.

Back in January, before the pandemic starts, Mounesan issued a statement, inviting all travelers and holidaymakers to visit the ancient land, saying that the country-size guesthouse is wholeheartedly ready to receive tourists from around the world. He emphasized that the Iranian government is trying its best to host incoming tourists by improving tourism infrastructure, offering attractive and pocket-friendly packages, as well as incentives such as visa waivers or 90-day visas on arrival.

Pointing to unique and unparalleled beauties of Iran, Mounesan said, “The rich history and civilization of this land, the numerous and spectacular tourist attractions, four-season weather, and high cultural and ethnic diversity have made an invaluable treasure of Iran and put this country in the top 10 tourist destinations in terms of tourism, cultural and natural attractions.

Astonishing mountains, breathtaking glaciers, beautiful volcanos, pristine forests, green foothills, delightful lakes, springs and waterfalls, picturesque beaches and wonderful islands, historical sites and distinct architecture, globally registered cities and villages, diverse and colorful handicrafts, delicious traditional cuisine and organic, healing drinks, etc. are only a small part of the beauties you can visit while staying in Iran.”

“With such advantages, each day the beautiful and safe cities of Iran are hosting thousands of tourists from different countries, having enjoyed the unique experience, most of whom decide to return and bring new fellow travelers with them.”

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. The latest available data show eight million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019).

AFM/MG

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