Iran setting rules for possible New Year travels

February 2, 2021 - 20:30

TEHRAN – Well-planned travels during the Persian New Year (Noruz) holidays, which will start on March 20, would be possible in close coordination with the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control, the deputy tourism minister said on Tuesday.

In order to create social vitality during the holidays, the ministry has set some rules for possible Noruz trips to control and monitor them carefully, Vali Teymouri said.  

“The trips will be possible only within the framework of planned tours through licensed travel agencies and under the supervision of the tourism ministry.”

For people, who travel individually and outside of the tours, a reservation for an authorized accommodation center will be necessary, the official added. 

He also emphasized that all travelers and tourists need to follow strict health protocols during their trips and stays. 

Last March, which is the most bustling and booming period for the tourism sector because it culminates in Noruz, all celebrations were canceled in all 31 provinces across the country, and all museums and historical sites, affiliated with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts went on a lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Last year, before the Persian New year, the tourism minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan asked people to postpone or reschedule tours to help the tourism industry deal with the coronavirus outbreak.

“My suggestion to my dear people is that they do not cancel their hotel reservations and domestic tours as far as possible to help the tourism industry and prevent it from bankruptcy by making their reservations in time after the virus is controlled.”

Iranians made 74 million overnight stays in their domestic trips during the Noruz holidays two years ago (2019), which showed a 20 percent increase year on year. And some 132 million visits to tourist attractions were registered during the mentioned period, which showed a 34 percent growth year on year, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.

The Islamic Republic was ranked the third fastest-growing tourism destination in the globe in 2019, with 27.9 percent growth year on year, according to the latest statistics released by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

However, the country expects to reap a bonanza from its numerous tourist spots. Under the 2025 Tourism Vision Plan, it aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.