Tehran promotes tourism at ITB Berlin

March 12, 2021 - 21:33

TEHRAN - ITB Berlin (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin), which bills itself as the world’s leading travel trade show, has presented a taste of Iran. Due to the pandemic, ITB Berlin was held virtually from March 9-12, featuring some 3,300 exhibitors from 120 countries.

The Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Ministry as well as several private-run businesses promoted the country, hammering home the message of diversity and richness in recreational, cultural, natural, and medical arenas of tourism.

“The presence of the Islamic Republic of Iran, particularly its the private sector, in this fair shows the dynamism of the country's tourism industry after a year of closure…., and we declare in this exhibition that we are ready to bring tourism back on track again after the epidemic is curbed,” said Vali Teymouri, the deputy tourism chief.

The number of foreign visitors to Iran plunged 94% in the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 20, 2020), from a year earlier, government data showed on Wednesday, as the coronavirus pandemic takes a heavy toll on the tourism industry.

“Some 450,000 foreign travelers arrived in Iran for mainly medical or trade purposes during the first nine months of the year… tightened measures to tackle the new coronavirus has reduced international travel to the country by 94 percent,” according to the official.

The global tourism industry has been plagued by the outbreak of the coronavirus for more than a year, which is a record in the history of this industry, the official noted. In an interview with the Tehran Times, the official noted: “We need to revise marketing strategies, and to redefine tourism products by paying great attention to nature tours, rural tourism, and ecotourism, agricultural tourism as a tool to empower local communities and travel businesses.”

Tourism minister, Ali-Asghar Mounesan, announced in February that the tourism industry of the country had suffered a loss of some 220 trillion rials (about $5.2 billion at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. “Iran’s tourism has suffered some 220 trillion rials due to corona pandemic so far…. and we hope that with the production of domestic vaccines, tourism will flourish in 1400 [the new Iranian calendar year which begins on March 21],” Mounesan said. 

“Over 1.5 million jobs have been lost in the tourism sector of Iran due to the COVID-19 disease…. Many of the tourism-insiders are now unemployed or they are staying at home,” Mounesan said. Iranian tourism officials are optimistic about the fate of national tourism as soon as the virus wanes.

AFM/

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