500 hotels under construction across Iran

September 4, 2020 - 16:47

TEHRAN – Over 2,400 tourism-related projects, including the construction of 500 hotels, are currently being implemented across the country with a total estimated cost of 1,370 trillion rials (around $32 billion).

This volume of investment indicates that investors recognize the growing tourism sector as a new economy in the country and have high hopes for it, Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan said on Friday, IRIB reported.

Pointing to the foreign arrivals as one of the important indicators of the tourism sector he said that 8.6 million foreign nationals visited the country during the previous Iranian calendar year 1398 (ended March 20), almost 200 percent increase compared to 4.8 million during the Iranian calendar year 1395 (March 2016-March 2017).

He also noted that the ecotourism has developed rapidly and the number of the eco-lodge units increased from 400 units in 2017 to over 2,000 units at the beginning of 2020.

The tourism industry of the country was growing and progressing well but unfortunately, it has faced the coronavirus outbreak, which brought the industry into a standstill, he added.  

However, on Wednesday the minister said that responsible tourism is a workable solution for holidaymakers to get assured of safe traveling during the coronavirus pandemic.

He mentioned that people’s health is the ministry’s top priority and the ministry is in full coordination with the Ministry of Health, which is at the forefront of the fight against coronavirus.

“Therefore, one of the solutions that can help us in the time of coronavirus is adopting smart travels or responsible travels.”

Last month, Mounesan proclaimed: “If the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is contained, all the tourism businesses across the country will have the capacity to fully resume their activities both in domestic and foreign markets.”

“Many tourism projects have been completed, or are being implemented, showing that a very good capacity has been created in the field of tourism in the country and [this trend] should not be stopped,” he explained.

In August, the tourism minister said the coronavirus pandemic should not bring traveling to a complete standstill. “Corona is a fact, but can the virus stop tourism? Certainly not. For us, the coronavirus is a new experience in dealing with crises that teaches tourism experts around the world how to deal with such a disaster, and thankfully governments are turning this into an opportunity for better planning.”

Talking about losses to the travel and hospitality industry of the country, the minister said that the virus decease has caused damage to many countries around the world, and our country’s travel sector has so far suffered a loss of 12 trillion rials (some $2.85 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials).

Iran 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. 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).

ABU/MG
 

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