Iran's travel prospects in 2021 and beyond
As the world slowly recovers from the massive slumps caused by the infectious disease and borders gradually open, many expect travel to look different than it did before the pandemic. In the last few months, many tour operators have drastically reduced their number of trips. Leisure travelers have shifted briskly from international to domestic destinations. Iran has seen a sharp drop in the number of foreign travelers since its debut, as the country received only 74 international visits in the spring, which is traditionally a high season.
According to Tourism Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan, the coronavirus epidemic has destroyed more than 1.5 million jobs in the travel sector of the Islamic Republic. "Many of the tourism insiders are now unemployed or staying at home." Based on available data, Iranian tourism has suffered a loss of 140 trillion rials (about $ 3.3 billion at an official rate of 42,000 rials) from the coronavirus pandemic outbreak to the end of Shahrivar (Sept. 21).
In a post-coronavirus world, travelers are expected to be much more aware of the new demands. Travel marketers need to innovate by planning itineraries that avoid public transportation and crowded tourist areas as their customers take this more deliberate approach to travel design. This way, more distant destinations or niche travel sites are put into operation. From another point of view, it is evident that the travel and hospitality sector needs to be sustainable and bearable for both Mother Earth and the communities, and for tourism businesses in general.
The newly prescribed health measures will of course be of benefit to travelers and the host communities, as tourism will work safely again and consequently economic benefits will also arise for those involved. In a post-COVID-19 world, tour operators who specialize in creating group trips may want to think about how to balance their business to operate safely and successfully in this new world. One option might be to switch entirely from group tours to free independent travelers for those who plan their trips and prefer to travel alone or in small groups. It's the opposite of mass tourists who travel in large groups and buy pre-designed travel packages. Another option is to continue offering group tours, but only for people who already know and trust each other and who interact regularly.
With significant uncertainty about travel safety, travel designers looking for a way out of the recession should offer new niche destinations to potential travelers who continue to turn to the experts as they plan their trips. Mohammad Ali Vaqefi, the vice president of the Iranian Tour Operators Association, believes that touring and travel would become a luxury area as health protocol compliance increases travel expenses. While no one knows exactly what will happen in the global travel scene, one thing is clear; We can no longer travel as freely as we used to.
But with all these mistrusts and health care, the interest of individual travelers (maximum 2 or 3 people) on social networks and especially Instagram is high yet. It seems that interested travelers on social networks (individual groups) are willing to continue their travels in compliance with health regulations. This can be good news, however, for those in charge of tourism who hope to prepare new and special programs for this group of enthusiasts.