Iran should prepare for potential ‘tsunami of tourism’: deputy minister

January 19, 2022 - 21:0

TEHRAN –Iran needs to get ready for a probable “tsunami of tourism” once the coronavirus pandemic is over, the deputy tourism minister has announced. 

“The Iranian government should get fully prepared for a surge and potential tsunami of tourism when COVID-restrictions are over,” CHTN quoted Ali Darabi as saying on Tuesday. 
 
“Despite not knowing how the coronavirus outbreak will evolve in the future, we ought to plan on hosting tourists during the upcoming holidays of Noruz (Iranian new year).” 

Travel and tourism will increase as vaccination becomes a priority around the world and lifestyles align, the official added. 

As a result of this outbreak, tourism and the economy of the world took a huge hit, with millions dying and many losing loved ones, he explained. 

But it has also taught people that they have to adapt, change quickly, analyze and react to a rapidly changing world, he mentioned. 

Last week, an official with the tourism ministry announced that the Iranian tourism industry has suffered $233m losses due to COVID restrictions over the past two years. 

“Travel is not believed to be the cause of the outbreak, rather it is a lack of adherence to health protocols that have caused the outbreak, but people canceled their trips anyway, causing major damage to the tourist facilities across the country,” he explained. 

With only two months until the upcoming new Iranian year holidays, the tourism ministry is preparing safe and smart travel packages for Iranian holidaymakers and travelers, he noted. 

Nearly 70 percent of the population has been vaccinated, so these trips may be able to partially compensate for the damage done to tourism facilities over the past two years, he mentioned. 

Last year the tourism ministry announced that the tourism of the country was growing before the corona outbreak, its revenues reached $11.7 billion in 2019, which accounted for 2.8% of GDP, nearing the average share of tourism in the world GDP, which was 3.2 percent.

Iran was ranked as the second fastest-growing country in tourism based on data compiled by the World Tourism Organization.

Experts 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 Islamic Republic expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers, and mansions, of which 26 are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list. 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.

ABU/AFM

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