90% of Iranian hotel employees receive COVID vaccine, others likely to lose jobs

October 19, 2021 - 22:3

TEHRAN – 90 percent of Iranian hoteliers and accommodation staff have received COVID-19 vaccine to date, the head of the Association of Iranian Hoteliers said on Monday.

“The vaccination of hotel staff against coronavirus has reached 90 percent to date, and the remaining 10% have not been vaccinated for personal reasons,” Jamshid Hamzehzadeh said, IRNA reported.

The association has set a deadline, which comes to an end on October 30, for unvaccinated employees of the chain hotels… when the time limit passes unvaccinated employees may lose jobs, the asserted.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Hamzehzadeh said the country’s hotels are prepared to receive foreign tourists as the issuance of tourist visas is top of the agenda for the government.

Iran considers reopening borders to foreign vacationers as its new tourism minister has said the government will soon scrap visa restrictions.

Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ezzatollah Zarghami made the announcement last month following his conversations with President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, however, the minister did not specify the date upon which those regulations would be scrapped.

According to some sources, fully vaccinated travelers would be embraced first under the updated regulations.

The average of international travels to and from the Islamic Republic fell by 80 percent during the past Iranian calendar year 1399 (ended on March 20, 2021) from a year earlier.

“During this period, 4,343,163 passengers entered the country, which included 3,030,464 Iranian passengers and 512,699 international travelers,” according to Arezou Ghaniun, an official with the Islamic Republic of Iran's Customs Administration. “From the beginning of 1399 to the end of it, we saw a significant reduction in passenger traffic to the country or vice versa in land, sea, rail and air borders, which were caused by various coronavirus restrictions.”

Months of steep recession has taken its toll. Many travel insiders, hoteliers, and tour operators have faced big dilemmas such as bankruptcy, unemployment, debts, and the prospects of not being competitive on the international level.

Panels of travel experts have mapped out new marketing strategies hoping Iran’s tourism would get back on its feet once again. For instance, the Head of the Iranian Tour Operators Association has said the international tourist flow to Iran will return to normal until 2022.

Iran is potentially a booming destination for travelers seeking cultural attractions, breathtaking sceneries, and numerous UNESCO-registered sites. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, Iran aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.


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