TEHRAN – All employees of accommodation centers across Iran must be vaccinated against the new coronavirus, the head of the Iranian Hoteliers Association has announced.
“Hoteliers and hotel staff have been vaccinated for some time, but only a very small number have received both doses of the vaccine,” Jamshid Hamzehzadeh was quoted as saying by ISNA on Friday.
“To vaccinate the staff of all accommodation centers, including ecolodges, aparthotels and guesthouses, as well as hotels, greater coordination with the Ministry of Health is necessary”, a- he added.
Last June, the official announced that the coronavirus epidemic had inflicted a loss of 60 trillion rials (about $1.4 billion at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials to the dollar) on the hotel industry. Iranian in just four months.
“Although hotels and accommodation centers have reopened, the damage caused by the coronavirus to this part of the tourism industry continues,” he noted.
COVID-19 causes damage to tourism in Iran
In July, ISNA reported that the country’s tourism industry had suffered a loss of some 320 trillion rials ($7.6 billion at the official exchange rate of 42,000 rials to the dollar) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The pandemic has also destroyed more than 44,000 jobs in a once nascent travel industry in the country, the report adds.
Experts believe that shelters have suffered the most from the coronavirus outbreak in Iran and its unemployment and financial loss.
The following statistics cover the period between February 2020 and spring 2021:
– Shelters suffered some 280 trillion rials ($6.6 billion) hit by the virus, while more than 21,000 shelter workers lost their jobs during the mentioned period.
– Tourism agencies have become the second most affected group in the tourism industry, with more than 10 trillion rials ($238 million) in damage and more than 6,000 unemployed since the outbreak.
Government care and support programs
Last October, the deputy head of tourism, Vali Teymouri, announced that a new support program had been approved to repay loans to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Depending on the type and activity of the companies, 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 rials) in bank loans with a rate of 12% interest, he said.
The loans would be allocated to tourist guides, travel agencies, tourist transport companies, tourism education establishments, eco-lodges and traditional accommodation, hotels, serviced apartments, motels and pensions as well as traditional accommodation centers, tourist resorts and recreation centers, the official explained.
Teymouri in September highlighted the 1.3 million tourism workers in the country, who are facing several challenges due to the coronavirus crisis and said: “This number, in addition to their households, includes a significant population that lives from tourism, which is necessary to take into account in the decisions of the Ministry.
In August, Teymouri announced that the Ministry of Tourism had approved a total budget of 4.92 trillion rials (over $117 million) to support tourism businesses affected by the coronavirus, covering up to 36,000 people working in the tourism sector.