Underway tourism projects to create over 580,000 job opportunities

November 12, 2020
tourism

TEHRAN –A total of 587,000 job opportunities will be generated by implementing over 2,400 tourism-related projects across the country.

Costing 1,370 trillion rials (around $32 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials), these projects create job opportunities for 475,000 people during their implementation and for 112,000 people once they come on stream, IRNA quoted Mohammad Khayyatian, an official with the tourism ministry as saying on Tuesday.

Although the tourism sector has taken a major hit from the impact of coronavirus, it is expected to get back on the right track as soon as the coronavirus crisis comes to an end, the official added.

In late October, Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan warned that Iran’s cultural heritage and tourism will be in a critical situation if the crises caused by the outbreak of the coronavirus continue.

In August, Mounesan said that Iran’s tourism has suffered a loss of 12 trillion rials (some $2.85 billion) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The tourism industry of the country was growing and progressing well but unfortunately, it has faced the coronavirus outbreak, which brought the industry into a standstill.”

Referring to the investment in the tourism sector he added that this volume of investment indicates that investors recognize the growing tourism sector as a new economy in the country and have high hopes for it.

“Many tourism projects have been completed, or are being implemented, showing that a very good capacity has been created in the field of tourism in the country and [this trend] should not be stopped,” he explained.

In late August, the tourism minister said the coronavirus pandemic should not bring traveling to a complete standstill. “Corona is a fact, but can the virus stop tourism? Certainly not. For us, the coronavirus is a new experience in dealing with crises that teaches tourism experts around the world how to deal with such a disaster, and thankfully governments are turning this into an opportunity for better planning.”

The government has allocated a 750-trillion-rial (about $18 billion) package to help low-income households and small- and medium-sized enterprises suffered by the coronavirus concerns.

However, in October, deputy tourism chief Vali Teymouri said that a new support package to pay loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic was approved by Iran’s National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control.

He also announced that depending on the type and activity of the businesses, they could benefit from at least 160 million rials (some $3,800) to nine billion rials (some $214,000) of bank loans with a 12-percent interest rate.

The loans will be allocated to tourist guides, travel agencies, tourism transport companies, tourism educational institutions, eco-lodges and traditional accommodations, hotels, apartment hotels, motels, and guesthouses as well as traditional accommodation centers, tourism complexes, and recreational centers, the official explained.

In September, Teymouri said that around 1.3 million tourism workers in the country are facing problems due to the coronavirus crisis.

Optimistic forecasts, however, 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.

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

tehrantimes



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