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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Coronavirus: Lorestan registers 6,000 overnight stays in H1

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TEHRAN – Vacationers made some 6,000 overnight stays in hotels and guest houses of Lorestan province during the first half of the current Iranian calendar year 1400 (started March 21) as many potential visitors stayed home since virus restrictions began in early 2019.

“Some 6,000 travelers stayed in hotels and other official accommodation centers across Lorestan province during the first six months of the year,” provincial tourism chief Seyyed Amin Qasemi said on Wednesday.

A total of 82,725 people visited historical and natural attractions of the western province during the period, the official added. 

Iranians made about one million overnight stays in Lorestan during the calendar year 1398, according to official data compiled by the provincial tourism directorate. 

Soaked in history and culture, Lorestan is one of the lesser-known travel destinations in Iran, which mainly acts as a gateway to the sweltering plains below in adjoining Khuzestan province. Most travelers just pass through on their way to the UNESCO sites of Susa, Tchogha Zanbil, and Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System. Lorestan is also a region of raw beauty that an avid nature lover could spend weeks exploring.

Lorestan was inhabited by Iranian Indo-European peoples, including the Medes, c. 1000 BC. Cimmerians and Scythians intermittently ruled the region from about 700 to 625 BC. The Luristan Bronzes noted for their eclectic array of Assyrian, Babylonian, and Iranian artistic motifs, date from this turbulent period.

Lorestan was incorporated into the growing Achaemenid Empire in about 540 BC and successively was part of the Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanid dynasties.

Iran preparing for tourism rebound

Iran considers reopening borders to foreign vacationers as its new tourism minister has said the government will soon scrap visa restrictions.

Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ezzatollah Zarghami made the announcement last month following his conversations with President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, however, the minister did not specify the date upon which those regulations would be scrapped.

According to some sources, fully vaccinated travelers would be embraced first under the updated regulations. The average of international travels to and from the Islamic Republic fell by 80 percent during the past Iranian calendar year 1399 (ended on March 20, 2021) from a year earlier.

Domestic tourism as a propeller in COVID era

The annual UNWTO Executive Training Programme, which was held in the Maldives from October 5 to 8, sharpened the focus on harnessing the power of domestic tourism to drive recovery and growth in destinations across Asia and the Pacific.

Reflecting the restart of domestic tourism ahead of international tourism, both across Asia and the Pacific and globally, the event focused on enabling destinations of all sizes to capitalize on this trend. Opening the event, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that, as tourism restarts in many parts of the world, “the sector needs leaders who can recognize ideas that will make a difference, who will innovate and back entrepreneurs and start-ups”.

AFM

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