0515 GMT December 01, 2022
A provincial official expressed optimism that with progress on vaccination against COVID-19, tourism in Yazd will flourish again, based on many requests by foreign tourist agencies to visit the central province.
“Currently, most of the visit requests are from China and European countries”, the head of the province’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department told Iran Daily, adding that due to the coronavirus restrictions, the department does not issue tourist visas.
Referring to the impact of the coronavirus on the tourism industry in Yazd, Seyyed Mostafa Fatemi said countries with high vaccination rates have now reopened to foreign tourists.
He expressed hope that inoculating a high percentage of the population will boost the resumption of the tourism industry in Iran as well.
The coronavirus pandemic was an unprecedented crisis for the tourism economy in the country, he said, adding that the travel boom has come to a halt since the end of the Norouz holidays – early in April.
“Although half of the tourism sites were open to visitors during the Norouz holidays in the province, not much success was achieved and we were faced with a low reception of travelers and tourists,” Fatemi said.
The managing director of Yazd Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department said, “In total, during the 15 days of the Norouz holidays in Yazd, about 27,000 travelers and tourists visited the province, while in 2019, the number was 1,900,000.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic, the small tourist sites have been totally closed, but the larger ones are still active, he said.
Referring to the restoration of the historical section of Yazd, Fatemi expressed his satisfaction with the restoration process, accompanied by the cooperation of the people.
However, the official said, “The number of restoration cases has decreased compared to the past (before the pandemic)”.
Out of 400 investment requests for the restoration of historic buildings, 300 requests were canceled due to problems caused by the coronavirus outbreak, but 100 cases are still active, he added.
“Most of these requests for investment and renovation in historical buildings have been in the field of setting up residential centers”.
As the first Iranian city, the historical city of Yazd was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in July 1996.
Fatemi also expressed satisfaction with the restoration of monuments in the province, saying that during the past two years, 960 monuments have been restored.
Describing the province as the land of Iranian Gardens, the official also said it is in the heart of the desert that the concept of Iranian Gardens makes sense; and Yazd has a lot of such gardens.
Fatemi also announced the department’s plan to restore and revive the Iranian Gardens in the province, adding that 100 gardens are under restoration.
Iranian Gardens, or Persian Gardens, are characterized by their special architecture and constituent elements such as geometric structure, running streams, trees, and a pavilion in the center.