0146 GMT August 18, 2022
A decline in COVID-19 infections and deaths led to an exploding increase in travels in Iran during the spring season, which shocked the government authorities, said deputy head of the Parliament’s Cultural Committee.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Seyyed Ali Yazdikhah said that the trend is expected to continue until the end of summer.
He said that the number of trips made in the country during the current Iranian year (started March 21) was unprecedented even compared to those of the years before the outbreak of COVID-19, pointing out that hotels and tourist accommodations in many cities were full during Norouz (Iranian New Year) holidays and early summer.
“Millions of Iranian people travel to pilgrimage destinations of the country on religious occasions”, the MP said.
The Parliament representative from Tehran urged people to get COVID-19 booster vaccines and observe the health protocols, noting this would help keep the growing trend of travels going.
The boom in the tourism sector would bring positive economic consequences for the country and help revive related businesses including hotels, restaurants and handicraft manufacturing and selling units.
Yazdikhah noted that with the continued prosperity of the tourism industry in the world and the return to normal conditions, about eight million foreign travelers, including a large number of religious tourists, are expected to visit Iran annually.
The lawmaker continued that Tehran has hundreds of cultural and historical heritage sites, having special architectural features; however, the capital city has not been properly introduced as a tourist destination.
Although the civilization and history of Tehran is not as old as that of Isfahan and Shiraz, a number of ancient regions are located around the city.
“For example, Shahr-e Rey, having a large number of historical sites, dates back to 8,000 years ago, the cities of Varamin, Robat Karim, Firuzkuh, Taleqan and Damavand have similar circumstances,” he said.
It is true that Tehran is not known as a tourist destination, but those travelling to other parts of the country make a short stop in the city on their way.
He said development of tourism cooperation between Iran and foreign countries would help create investment opportunities in the country, improve the living conditions of people and generate employment.
He stressed that a comprehensive tourism document should be devised for the country to help clarify the goals defined for Iran’s tourism industry.