3.2 million visits to South Khorasan attractions recorded

April 5, 2022 - 20:0

TEHRAN – South Khorasan province has registered some 3.2 million visits to its tourist attractions during the Noruz holidays. 

“3,289,620 people explored tourist sites of the South Khorasan province during Noruz,” a provincial official said on Tuesday.  

Over 1.5 overnight stays were registered across the eastern province, Alireza Abbaszadeh said, ILNA reported.

The amassed data comes from authorized accommodation centers such as hotels, eco-lodge units, guest houses, and tourist complexes, the official noted. 

South Khorasan is home to many historical and natural attractions such as Birjand Castle, Dragon Cave, Furg Citadel, and Polond Desert. It is also known for its famous rugs as well as its saffron and barberry which are produced in almost all parts of the province.

By mid-March Noruz travels traditionally begin in Iran, and roads across the country are packed with passengers who are racing against time to make the best use of the two-week holiday.

On March 12, President Ebrahim Raisi said Iranians who have received the second dose of COVID vaccine were allowed to travel across the country during the new year holidays.

“Noruz ceremonies and trips, if practiced under health protocols, could be beneficial for the revival of the tourism industry and handicrafts, which have been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic in many provinces,” he explained.

Last year, the number of domestic travels fell by 96 percent during the two-week holidays compared to two years earlier due to struct virus-related restrictions, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts. Before the corona outbreak, tourism revenues of the Islamic Republic 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

Available data suggest the country’s tourism industry has suffered $233m losses due to COVID restrictions over the past two years. “Iranian tourism facilities have incurred a loss of 69 trillion rials ($233 million) due to the outbreak of the coronavirus over the past two years,” an official with the tourism ministry said early in January.

Noruz is the longest, oldest, and most cherished festival in the Persian calendar. It is when all Iranians celebrate the Persian New Year and nature’s resurrection from the long winter.

ABU/AFM


 

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