Affordable prices expected to bring back boom into Iran tourism

March 5, 2021 - 18:7

TEHRAN – The reasonable prices of Iran tours are expected to bring back the boom into the tourism sector of the country in post coronavirus era, the head of the Iranian Tour Operators Association has said.

“Attractive tour plans are also being prepared for those who are eager to explore the historical attractions and natural wonders of the ancient country and want to experience a vacation here,” Ebrahim Pourfaraj said on Thursday.

He also expressed hope that international tour operators and companies who have worked with their Iranian counterparts for years, would put Iran back on the world’s travel route again, considering the facilities they can get at cheaper prices than in other countries.

Referring to health tourism as a popular branch in Iran, he noted that medical services in Iran are provided at a lower price than what may be offered at double the price in other countries.

Back in January, the official announced that the tourist flow from across the world to Iran will return to normal in 2022.

Although there are requests for traveling to Iran in the current year (2021), most travel agencies and tour operators believe that the flow will go back to normal in the next year, he explained.

Beginning mass vaccination against the coronavirus will provide better and safe conditions for international travels in 2022, he added.

Last November, the World Tourism Organization announced that international tourist arrivals to Iran plunged 72% during the first eight months of 2020 when compared to 2019, highlighting the severe impact of COVID-19 as the main factor.

Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan in October 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.

Last 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.

He also noted that 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.”

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). Iran welcomed some 7.8 million foreign nationals a year earlier, achieving a 52.5 percent increase year on year.

The ancient land embraces hundreds of historical sites 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, the country aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.

ABU/AFM

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