TEHRAN – Travel advertising has been resumed in Iran mainly for destinations that have no traces of the coronavirus.
President Hassan Rouhani has said the country will be divided into three risk zones based on the number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities.
Rouhani said the Health Ministry would draw up a map of “white,” “yellow” and “red” risk zones in the country.
In the white areas, religious sites, mosques, and holy shrines would be allowed to reopen and hold Friday prayers under the health guidelines issued to curtail the coronavirus pandemic.
Meanwhile, Hormatollah Rafiei, the head of the Association of Iranian Travel Agents, said on Saturday that “Advertisements for [package] tours have been started for Khordad holidays (June 3 to 5) by some tourism agencies.
Rafiei warned that no tour operator or travel agency should give customers promises they could not fulfill,” Mehr reported.
“None of them should create a commitment for a traveler that they will not be able to do it.”
“We can’t really be out of work. I have informed my colleagues that they should start advertising for tours beginning from the month of Khordad (May 21), but none of them should give a commitment to the passengers that they will not be able to meet.”
“Agencies have to make a commitment that are able to implement, not to take money from people under this pretext, and then say that the government does allow them to do obligations. For foreign trips, no one can sell tickets until airlines announce that they are transferring passengers,” he explained.
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On April 20, Iran lifted intercity travel bans days after President Hassan Rouhani unveiled a “Smart Social Distancing Initiative” as a new phase of measures to prevent the virus spread.
Over the past couple of months, many countries, including the Islamic Republic, imposed travel restrictions to help curb the spread of novel coronavirus. In this line, incoming and outgoing flights have been suspended, and road travels restricted to a great extent.
Some experts 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.
Latest available data show eight million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019).