Some 3,000 tourism workers in Kish lose job over coronavirus outbreak 

July 5, 2020 - 20:0

TEHRAN – Some 3,000 tourism workers in Kish Island have lost their jobs temporarily as the coronavirus has nearly closed down all travel hotspots across the Persian Gulf island, ILNA reported. 

Shutting down the tourist sites in the island as well as canceling all cultural and entertainment festivals, which led to the unemployment of almost 3,000 people, could be more destructive and challenging than the risks posed by the virus, said Ali Khodadadi, the president of Kish Tour Operators and Travel Agencies. 

Instead of halting all tourism activities across the island, the authorities could monitor the implementation of health protocols strictly, he added.  

Last week, Masihollah Safa, the head of the Association of Kish Hoteliers announced that the Kish Island’s tourism industry has taken 15 trillion rials (over $357 million) hit from the coronavirus outbreak over the previous months.

He also noted that due to the climatic conditions of the island and the time of the outbreak of the virus, which coincided with the island’s tourist season, Kish Island’s tourism industry took a severe hit from the pandemic.

Over the past couple of decades, the coral Kish Island has become a beach resort where visitors can swim, shop, and sample a laid-back and relatively liberated local lifestyle. It is home to free-trade-zone status, with ever-growing hotels, shopping centers, apartment blocks, and retail complexes.

The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has brought the world to a standstill, and tourism has been the worst affected of all major economic sectors.

Some 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.

Latest available data show eight million tourists visited the country during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019).