May 31, 2023

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Iran domestic tourism picks up 15% over Persian New Year, minister says

TEHRAN – Almost 15 percent more domestic tourism trips have been made for this year’s Noruz holidays, the Iranian tourism minister said on Wednesday.

“This year, the number of [domestic] travels rose 15 percent [for Noruz holidays] from March 16 to April 4,” Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ezzatollah Zarghami said.

“For Noruz, a total of 50 million overnight stays were registered, and this year this index reached 57.1%, which includes official stays as well as unofficial and emergency stays.

Zarghami said 57.1 million overnight stays have been registered for the period while the number of overnight stays reached some 50 million for the Noruz holidays a year earlier. The official, however, did not provide specific figures for domestic travelers.

This year, Mazandaran, Gilan and Khorasan Razavi, Hormozgan and Khuzestan drew the highest numbers of travelers respectively, Zarghami said.

“This year, we had a record of six million visits to cultural heritage museums and sites during Noruz holidays, which fetched about 31 billion tomans ($620,000) of tourism revenues,” the minister added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarghami said his ministry follows plans to help formulate travel packages for low-income people groups. “They should have easier access to travel, and that is a priority for the tourism ministry.”

Elegant hotels and accommodation centers had a very good occupancy rate during the Noruz holidays, however, low-level accommodation centers had a decreasing occupancy rate, despite an increase in tourists, the minister said.

This shows that the Gini coefficient has increased and those who can afford to travel well can do so, while the middle and lower middle classes cannot even take advantage of cheaper accommodations, even though tourism should be available to all of them, he explained.

Iranians traditionally go traveling during the New Year holidays, when most businesses and workplaces are closed, as are schools.


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