Over $470,000 paid to support tourism businesses in Lorestan

March 5, 2021 - 18:6

TEHRAN – The Iranian government has paid some 20 billion rials (about $476,000 at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) in loans to the tourism businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the western province of Lorestan.

The province’s tourism industry has taken 1.2 trillion rials ($28.5 million) hit from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) so far, the deputy provincial tourism chief, Eskandar Fallahvand, said on Friday.

Furthermore, he noted that 1,200 people working in the province’s tourism sector have lost their jobs during the pandemic. 

Lorestan is a region of raw beauty that an avid nature lover could spend weeks exploring.

Lorestan was inhabited by Iranian Indo-European peoples, including the Medes, c. 1000 BC. Cimmerians and Scythians intermittently ruled the region from about 700 to 625 BC. The Luristan (Lorestan) Bronzes noted for their eclectic array of Assyrian, Babylonian, and Iranian artistic motifs, date from this turbulent period.

Lorestan was incorporated into the growing Achaemenid Empire in about 540 BC and successively was part of the Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanid dynasties.

***Government’s care and support packages

Last October, the deputy tourism chief, Vali Teymouri, announced that a new support package was approved to pay loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Depending on the type and activity of the businesses, they could benefit from at least 160 million rials ($3,800 at the official rate of 42,000 rials) to nine billion rials ($214,000) of bank loans with a 12-percent interest rate, he said.

The loans would 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.

Teymouri in September pointed to the 1.3 million tourism workers in the country, who are facing several issues due to the coronavirus crisis and said “This number, in addition to their households, includes a significant population that makes a living through tourism, who are needed to be considered in ministry’s decisions.”

Back in August, Teymouri announced that the tourism ministry had approved a total budget of 4,920 billion rials (over $117 million) to support corona-affected tourism businesses, covering as much as 36,000 people working in the tourism sector.

ABU/AFM
 

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