On Isfahan province, COVID imposes $1.1 billion loss in tourism

Published on : Monday, March 15, 2021

To quote Heydar Sadeqi, “Over the past year, hotels, travel agencies, and tourism destinations suffered 4,000 billion rials each month on average. However, the damages inflicted by the virus to other related sections such as recreational centers, transport businesses have not been taken into account.”


As per the recent available data and information, in 2021, the number of tourists in Isfahan province has dropped by 90% compared to the past year. Also, accommodation and hotel’s occupancy rate reached an average of 10%, the official said.


If we see, Isfahan province has around 150 hotels, 70 traditional hotels, 444 eco-lodge units, 150 inns, 230 guest houses. Drenched in history and culture, at one point of time, Isfahan was a crossroads for international trade and diplomacy in Iran. At present, it is one of the top tourist destinations in Iran for all the excellent reasons. The old city has countless architectural wonders like the unmatched Islamic buildings, museums, bazaars, Persian gardens, and tree-lined boulevards. If one loves to walk, it’s a city tailor-made for it, getting lost in its mazing bazaars, dozing in beautiful gardens, and meeting new people.


“Iran’s tourism industry has suffered a loss of some 220 trillion rials (about $5.2 billion at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic,” Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan said last month. “Over 1.5 million jobs have been lost in the tourism sector of Iran due to the COVID-19 disease…. Many of the tourism-insiders are now unemployed or they are staying at home,” Mounesan announced on December 2020.


Before, to the corona-affected sectors, the government had distributed a total of 500 trillion rials (about $12 billion), of which 200 trillion rials ($4.7 billion) will be given to the ministry of health and the rest will be spent on other sectors as well, he said. On Feb, 2021, the minister unveiled that the bill for the national budget for the next calendar year (starting on March 20) has proposed 70 trillion rials (about $1.7 billion) to support businesses related to tourism and impacted by the pandemic.


If the budget gets the consent of the parliament, it will be injected into various sectors of tourism which has taken a tremendous blow due to the outbreak of coronavirus over the previous months. In spite of the toughest financial pressures and sanctions, the government of Iran has rendered good support to tourism’s all sectors, the minister said. Nonetheless, it’s being expected that mass vaccination beginning against coronavirus will provide better conditions for tourism businesses, he explained.


The deputy tourism minister, Vali Teymouri, in late October, declared that a new package of support to pay loans to businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic has been approved. Depending on the type and activity of the businesses, they could profit from at least 160 million rials ($3,800) to nine billion rials ($214,000) of bank loans with a 12-percent interest rate, he said.


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