Some $3.1m paid to support tourism in North Khorasan

January 6, 2021 - 22:38

Tehran - The Iranian government has paid 132 billion rials ($3.1 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) to support tourism businesses in North Khorasan province during the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20-December 20, 2020).

Besides this amount of money, the government has also paid 14 billion rials (over $333,000) in loans to the tourism businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the northeastern province, the provincial tourism chief has said. 

The cultural heritage department of the province also plans to attract private sector investors to carry out tourism-related projects in near future, Habib Yazdanpanah announced on Wednesday. 

In late October, deputy tourism chief Vali Teymouri said that a new support package to pay loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic was approved by Iran’s National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control.

He also announced that depending on the type and activity of the businesses, they could benefit from at least 160 million rials (some $3,800) to nine billion rials (some $214,000) of bank loans with a 12-percent interest rate.

The loans will be allocated to tourist guides, travel agencies, tourism transport companies, tourism educational institutions, eco-lodges and traditional accommodations, hotels, apartment hotels, motels, and guesthouses as well as traditional accommodation centers, tourism complexes, and recreational centers, the official explained.

In October, Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan warned that Iran’s cultural heritage and tourism will be in a critical situation if the crises caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus continue. In August, Mounesan said that Iran’s tourism has suffered a loss of 12 trillion rials (some $2.85 billion) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government has allocated a 750-trillion-rial (about $18 billion) package to help low-income households and small- and medium-sized enterprises suffered by the coronavirus concerns.

Optimistic forecasts, however, 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.

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/ AFM

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