Ali Asghar Mounesan said Saturday the tourism industry needs to be activated as soon as possible after containing the coronavirus so that jobs that have been damaged can make up for some of their losses with the government’s help.
Mounesan noted that the tourism industry is linked directly and indirectly with various sectors of the economy.
“With its economic, social and cultural effects, tourism is one of the most important and vital sectors of any country, but the outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran and around the world has caused the industry to suffer the most.”
World Travel and Tourism Council statistics show that tourism accounts for 10.4 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and creates 320 million jobs. It is also responsible for creating one-fifth of new jobs. Moreover, for eight consecutive years it contributed to global economic growth more than other sectors, emphasised Mounesan.
The Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts stated the World Tourism Organisation recently issued a report estimating that international tourist arrivals could decline by 20% to 30% in 2020. Arrivals could also return to seven years ago due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
“The organisation has estimated a loss of 290 to 440 billion dollars,” Mounesan pointed out.
The containment of the pandemic is the utmost priority and the tourism sector is committed to support all measures taken to curb the outbreak. UNWTO is working closely with the World Health Organisation, its Members States and the industry to ensure a coordinated and effective response, he added.