Bandar Lengeh-Dubai shipping line resumes operation after COVID-19 halt

October 19, 2020 - 22:46

TEHRAN – The Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Line (IRISL) has announced that a shipping line between Bandar Lengeh and Dubai has resumed operation after a halt over the coronavirus pandemic. 

The service will be on a regular weekly basis under strict health protocols. 

Despite having a capacity of 235 passengers, the ships will only carry 100 passengers holding proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test while wearing masks during the five-hour voyage. 

The journey costs 7.5 million rials ($178) for one-way tickets and 11.5 million rials ($274) for return tickets, which is less than half the price of an airline ticket. 

Iran has suffered an average 15.8 percent fall in foreign arrivals during the first three months of 2020 compared to the same period last year, according to data released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) that analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 on international tourism.

Deputy tourism minister Vali Teymouri has said that international tourism could be recovered soon because it is mostly relying on potential travelers and pilgrims from the neighboring countries.

“Given the policies of the country’s tourism industry over the past two years to focus on tourism markets in the neighboring countries, the possibility of recovering and reviving international tourism in the shortest possible time is predictable,” Teymouri told the Tehran Times in May.

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).


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