Tehran tourism fair opens; activists hope for boom when corona vaccine is ever-present

February 23, 2021 - 18:26

TEHRAN – Tehran’s international tourism and handicrafts fair opened to the public on Tuesday in defiance of a government campaign to improve the hugely-battered travel sector in the face of the novel coronavirus.

Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan and his deputies for tourism, and handicrafts were amongst attendees to the opening ceremony of the fair, which is underway at Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds.

Activists, including tour operators, hoteliers, transport businesses, and tour guides, are hopeful that such days would be numbered at the COVID-19 vaccine is getting more widespread.

Since it first surfaced late in 2019, the pandemic has created a greater demand for experiences away from crowds, which is opposite to many traveling pillars. Experts say that such preference for solo travel would probably continue till a coronavirus vaccine is ever-present.

 “Safe and Responsible Travels” has been picked as the motto of the four-day event that according to organizers could help boost synergy among the two sectors as people have a chance to visit them maybe in a day-long visit!

The event is being held according to health protocols announced by the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control, and following the necessary coordination with the relevant agencies in this field, according to Vali Teymouri, the deputy minister for tourism.

Travel agencies, airlines, sea or rail companies, entrepreneurs, startups, banks, insurance brokers, agents or hospitals in charge of health, medical tourism, sports clubs, pilgrimage & eco-tourism companies, representatives of hotels, guesthouses, touristic villages, and free zones are amongst exhibitors in the tourism sector.  

Furthermore, tens of booths and stands in various exhibition halls have been dedicated to craftspeople, artisans, live performers, and tribespeople who are coming together from every corner of the ancient land to promote skills inherited from generation to generation.

Though its main goal of the sales exhibit is to make money and sails of the handicrafts, souvenirs, foodstuff, and various other regional products, it can be a venue for dialogue between exhibitors and visitors and even visiting officials, according to organizers.

The fair showcase arrays of personal ornamentation, woodwork, illuminated manuscript, miniature, textile printing, enamel, leatherwork, handwoven textile, calligraphy, traditional musical instrument, metalwork, and marquetry among tens of others while nomadic culinary arts, live workshops, and performances that would gather own fans every corner.

Iran 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 24 being inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

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. So it will undeniably try its best to achieve a relatively ambitious goal but when that happens the travel industry is likely to look more altered.