Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Internet disruption has led to cancellation of nearly 90% of tours to Iran: Official

An Iranian tourism official says the disruption of internet enforced by the government amid protests in Iran have cost the country’s tourism industry dearly.

“It’s not good times for the tourism industry,” Hormatollah Rafi’ee, the president of the Association of Air Transport and Tourist Agencies of Iran, told Entekhab new outlet on Sunday, adding that in the past 38 days, nearly 90 percent of all incoming tours to the country had been cancelled.

He said travel agencies had been unable both to upload advertisements and to sell tourism packages via common messaging applications, which have been filtered by Iranian authorities. Furthermore, Rafi’ee said, there have been difficulties contacting passengers via such apps.

“The world today is one of technology,” he said.

“The fact of the matter is that advertisements by my colleagues used to be put up on platforms such as Instagram and WhatsApp.”

Both of those applications were filtered by the Iranian government soon after protests began in Iran over the death of a young woman in the custody of “morality patrol” agents last month.

Rafi’ee said the tourism industry would be hit even further before alternative apps are found and gain customary usage.

The internet disruption and filtering are not the only issues, according to Rafi’ee. Foreign visitors, he said, are also wary of traveling to Iran given advisories issued by their governments in light of the protests.

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