TEHRAN – The Iranian government has paid some 34 billion rials (some $809,000 at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials per dollar) in loans to the tourism businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic in Hormozgan province.There are about 346 licensed tourist facilities across the southern province, many of which have been almost completely or partially closed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the provincial tourism chief has said.
“There has been only 15 to 20 percent of hotels and accommodation centers in the province used by tourists and travelers, and many of these units survived only due to the support of the government,” Sohrab Banavand announced on Monday.
He also noted that 16 tourism-related projects worth 140 billion rials ($3.4 million) are currently underway across the province, which is scheduled to come on stream by the end of the current Iranian year 1400 (ends March 2022).
Known as the province of islands, Hormozgan province is located on the northern coasts of the Persian Gulf. It embraces scenic islands among which Kish, Hormuz, Hengam, and Qeshm are the most beautiful ones and top tourist destinations in southern Iran.
Over the past couple of decades, the coral Kish Island has become a beach resort where visitors can swim, shop, and sample a laid-back and relatively liberated local lifestyle. It is home to free-trade-zone status, with ever-growing hotels, shopping centers, apartment blocks, and retail complexes.
Hormuz, which is mostly barren and hilly, is situated some eight kilometers off the coast on the Strait of Hormuz, which attracts many tourists by its colorful mountains, silver sand shores, and great local people.
Hengam Island has scenery rocky shores, serene sunset, and kind natives, which can attract travelers who enjoy a relaxing trip by spending time on this tranquil island.
Qeshm Island is a heaven for eco-tourists as it embraces wide-ranging attractions such as the Hara marine forests and about 60 villages dotted mostly across its rocky coastlines. The island also features geologically eye-catching canyons, hills, caves, and valleys, most of which are protected as part of the UNESCO-tagged Qeshm Island Geopark, itself a haven for nature-lovers.
Government’s care and support packages
In October 2020, the tourism ministry proclaimed that a new support package was approved to pay loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Depending on the type and activity of the businesses, they could benefit from at least 160 million rials ($3,800 at the official rate of 42,000 rials) to nine billion rials ($214,000) of bank loans with a 12-percent interest rate.
The loans were 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.
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.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/465482/Some-809-000-paid-to-support-tourism-businesses-in-Hormozgan