Iran is a safe destination for tourism: minister

January 30, 2022 - 21:11

TEHRAN – Iran is a fairly safe and beautiful destination for international travelers, Iranian tourism minister Ezzatollah Zarghami said on Saturday.

 “Foreign tourists should be aware that Iran has the beautiful and safest places for tourism, but negative propaganda by Western media has tainted their minds, whereas those who come here change their view,” he said.

He made the remarks on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the 15th Tehran International Tourism Exhibition on Saturday.

“There is no doubt that the ancient country offers the best opportunities in everything related to tourism”, Zarghami noted.

People seem to be more likely to travel this year due to the current state of the coronavirus compared to last year, he added.

He noted that Iran’s provinces should prepare for a boost in tourism during the Noruz holidays (Iranian new year) within the next two months.

Last week, the deputy tourism minister Ali Darabi announced that the Iranian government should get fully prepared for a surge and potential tsunami of tourism when COVID-restrictions are over.

The Iranian government should get fully prepared for a surge and potential tsunami of tourism when COVID restrictions are over.

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.

Earlier this month, 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.

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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