Coronavirus causes $357m damage to Kish Island’s tourism

July 4, 2020 - 20:0

TEHRAN – Kish Island’s tourism industry has taken 15 trillion rials (over $357 million) hit from the coronavirus outbreak over the previous months.

 Due to the climatic conditions of the island and the time of the outbreak of the virus, which coincided with the island’s tourist season, Kish Island’s tourism industry took a severe hit from coronavirus pandemic, ISNA quoted Masihollah Safa, the head of the Association of Kish Hoteliers.

Although the government has promised to support the private sector, it hasn’t helped or supported investors and hoteliers’ community yet, while the private sector is one of the main promoters of the tourism industry of the island, he added.

Earlier last week, the president of the Iranian Hoteliers Association Jamshid Hamzezadeh announced that the outbreak of the new coronavirus has inflicted a loss of 60,000 billion rials (about $1.4 billion) on Iranian hospitality industry during the past four months.

The Iranian government has announced it will bail out those which are grappling with fiscal problems by offering loans with a 12-percent interest rate, while the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts has suggested a rescue package for tourism businesses.

“Such amount of bailouts will not compensate for much of the losses as the virus pandemic has brought tourism to a standstill for two months,” Amir-Pouya Rafiei-Shad who presides over Tehran province’s Tour and Travel Agencies Association said in April.

“Last [Iranian calendar] year was a bumpy ride for Iran’s tourism as it suffered from flooding in the spring, protests [over petrol prices] in November, and the fatal Ukraine International Airlines plane crash in January,” Rafiei-Shad explained.

On April 20, Iran lifted intercity travel bans days after President Hassan Rouhani unveiled a “Smart Social Distancing Initiative” as a new phase of measures to prevent the virus spread.

ABU/MG

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