TEHRAN – The Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts has approved a total budget of 4,920 billion rials (over $117 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials) to support businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Over 8,300 applications for receiving financial facilities have been registered and sent to the banking system and some 380 billion rials (about $9 million) has been paid in loans so far, deputy tourism chief Vali Teymouri said on Saturday.
The applications cover businesses with as much as 36,000 people working in the tourism sector across the country, the official added.
Back in April, the government announced it will support those which are grappling with fiscal problems by offering loans with a 12-percent interest rate. The Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts also suggested a rescue package for tourism businesses.
The government has also allocated a 750-trillion-rial (about $18 billion) package to help low-income households and small- and medium-sized enterprises suffered by the coronavirus concerns.
Optimistic forecasts, however, expect Iran to achieve a tourism boom after coronavirus contained, believing its impact would be temporary and short-lived for a country that ranked the third fastest-growing tourism destination in 2019.
The latest available data show eight million tourists visited the Islamic Republic during the first ten months of the past Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2019).