Iran’s tourism still alive, minister says

February 27, 2021 - 18:43

TEHRAN – Despite all the obstacles and issues and the outbreak of the coronavirus, the country’s tourism sector is still alive and dynamic, the tourism minister has said. 

He made the remarks during his visit to Tehran’s international tourism and handicrafts fair, which came to an end on Friday evening. 

“A tourism event of this magnitude is a good example of the dynamism and development of tourism,” Ali-Asghar Mounesan said. 

“While the fair is being held under strict coronavirus restrictions and health protocols, the outcome is still very satisfying,” he explained. 

Elsewhere in his remarks, he expressed hope that limited Noruz trips would be possible during the Iranian New Year vacations, which begins on March 21. 
Noruz ceremonies and trips, if practiced under health protocols, could be beneficial for the revival of the tourism industry and handicrafts, which have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic in many provinces, the minister explained. 

Last week, the deputy tourism minister Vali Teymouri announced that the tourism ministry has gained official permission for organizing limited intercity travels during the Iran New Year vacations from the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control. 

With less than a month to go till the start of the Iranian New Year, which has long been associated with millions of domestic travels, the ministry wants to find a way to partially revive the already-slumped travels in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, he noted. 

The tourism minister also publicized in November that mass, unplanned travels are not approved. “The outbreak of the coronavirus has caused damage to the tourism industry in Iran and [other parts of] the world in such a way that according to statistics, 50 million people are directly and indirectly exposed to unemployment due to the virus spread in the global scene…. yet, mass or unplanned and irresponsible travels are not approved to take place during the coronavirus era.”

Smart and responsible traveling should replace "do not travel” recommendations, the minister stressed, adding: “In our country, Corona has caused problems in the tourism industry and the worrying point is the continuation of this trend.”

“We are well aware of what the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control proclaims [the health protocols], hence as a proposal, we have formulated some smart, responsible travel packages by the implementation of which we could have secure travels,” the minister said.

He has repeatedly announced that his ministry is in full coordination with the Ministry of Health for strictly implementing health protocols in travel destinations, hospitably centers, and museums, amongst others, underlining that “people’s health is our priority.”

Iranians traditionally make hundreds of thousands of domestic trips during the New Year holidays, when most businesses and workplaces are closed, as are schools.

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