No doubt tourism development will promote culture of tolerance: minister

September 27, 2020 - 21:15

TEHRAN – Iranian tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan has said that the development of tourism will lay the ground for promoting the culture of tolerance both on national and international levels.

“There is no doubt that tourism development in Iran and throughout the world can unify and share the national benefits and promote the culture of tolerance,” Mounesan said in a message issued on the occasion of World Tourism Day.

“September 27th, the World Tourism Day, has been also included in our formal calendar as 'the national tourism day'. This day is also concurrent with ‘the Holy (Sacred) Defense National Week’, the event that all of us are indebted to; we are all are indebted to the sacrifice and self-devotion of the Iranian brave youth who defended the country.”

He also expressed delight that segments of the Sacred Defense reminiscences constitute tourist destinations in the country, noting “Fortunately, a part of the Holy Defense memories is registered as an important tourist destination through the committee of Rahian-e Noor (the Pursuers of Glory).”

The minister referred to the slogan that the World Tourism Organization has selected for the 2020 World Tourism Day, saying: “This year’s slogan is ‘Tourism and Rural Development’, something that all tourism activists believe that villages and villagers are playing a crucial role in tourism, especially in ecolodges.”

“We hope that our plans for setting up 2,000 ecolodge units throughout the country would be a promising event to build up the rural regions. A 50% increase in the number of accommodation units in Iran and the addition of travel to the household commodities can affect the economy and development of less-developed, lesser-known, and rural regions.”

“There is no doubt that tourism development in Iran and throughout the world can unify and share the national benefits and promote the culture of tolerance. So, it can be said that World Tourism Day is the day of international solidarity, the day when the struggle is substituted by mutual understanding and the understanding of tourism philosophy can lead to a better understanding of the world.”

Referring to the predicaments the tourism industry faced during the past Iranian calendar year (ended March 2020), Mounesan said: “Last year was a tough one; it was started by the deadly floods and ended with the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, at the end of last year, we broke the record of inbound tourism with 8,800,000 foreign tourists. During this crisis, we tried to support the tourism units financially and spiritually to be able to witness their development is the post-corona period.”

“As President Rouhani said during the opening ceremony of 87 tourism projects in 15 different provinces, paying attention to the spiritual, cultural and historical aspect of our various tourist attractions is of utmost importance, we hope that with the help and participation of people and the private/governmental investors, we would be able to satisfy our responsibility as it suits our amazing country.”

“In the end, I want to congratulate the World Tourism Day to all tourism activists, beneficiaries, and enthusiasts and wish a brighter future f other tourism industry of Iran.”

Mounesan said last month “Corona is a [bitter] reality but it cannot bring traveling to a complete standstill” as he underlined that “people’s health is our first priority.”

“If coronavirus-related restrictions persist, the tourism industry of the country will suffer irreparable losses and many tourism insiders will be bankrupt… it’s time to replace ‘smart and responsible traveling’ with ‘do not travel’ recommendations.”

The minister announced in August that Iran’s travel sector had suffered a loss of 12 trillion rials (some $2.85 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

AFM/MG

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