TEHRAN, Iran, Aug.3
Iran's tourism requires more studies and research to grow and compensate damages caused by coronavirus spread, said an expert in tourism industry.
Arash Nouraghaei has discussed the country's tourism industry and effect of coronavirus in an interview with Trend.
"Iran's tourism did not have good revenue even before Coronavirus spread, as the revenues were not as was expected. There are ongoing domestic tours during coronavirus, but they do not contribute to the development of tourism," Nouraghaei said.
"The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has indicated that tourism industry in the world has become paralyzed to some extent. However, the problems of tourism in Iran are caused not only by coronavirus spread; political and economic issues also have effected the industry," the expert noted.
"It can not be assessed how much each factor of political, psychological and economic pressures have damaged the industry; meanwhile, applying scientific approach could help measure these effects and reveal statistical information," he added.
"It is necessary to help this sector. For example, there are individual entrepreneurs that turned their houses into eco-tourism sights, but currently, they have no travelers due to coronavirus. Now is the time to develop strategy to improve the industry," said Nouraghaei.
The outbreak of coronavirus has inflicted 53 trillion rials ($330 million) losses on Iranian tourism industry during the first two months of current Iranian year (started March 20, 2002), and the country's hotels alone were hit by 30 trillion rials ($187 million) losses.
The Iranian government has approved a large rescue package to help low incomes and series of struggling businesses to compensate the losses.
Over the past months, many countries, including Iran, imposed travel restrictions to help curb the spread of novel coronavirus. Incoming and outgoing flights have been suspended, and road travels are restricted to a great extent.