Iran tourism arrival down 72% in 8 months

Iran’s tourist arrivals saw a decline of 72% in the first eight months of 2020, according to the latest data of World Tourism Organization.

17 November 2020
ID : 22647
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Iran’s tourist arrivals saw a decline of 72% in the first eight months of 2020, according to the latest data of World Tourism Organization.

Iran’s tourism saw a decrease of 90%, 92% and 94% in January, February and March 2020 compared with the corresponding months of 2019. This negative growth hit a record high of 96% in April and 97% in May, following restrictions on travel introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In June, tourist arrivals recorded an 84% decrease. However, the decline in arrivals slowed down significantly in July and August, as the two months saw a 35% drop in Iran’s tourist arrivals.   

International tourist arrivals (visitors in transit) declined by 70% in the first eight months of 2020 over the same period of last year, amid global travel restrictions, as many borders were fully closed to contain the prevailing pandemic.

International arrivals plunged by 81% in July and 79% in August, traditionally the two busiest months of the year and the peak of the Northern Hemisphere summer season.

Despite such large declines, this represents a relative improvement over previous months, as some destinations started to reopen to international tourism, mostly in the European Union.

The decline in January-August 2020 represents 700 million fewer international tourist arrivals compared to the same period of 2019, and translates into a loss of $730 billion in export revenues from international tourism, more than eight times the loss in 2009 under the impact of the global economic crisis.

Asia and the Pacific, the first region to suffer the impact of the pandemic, saw a 79% decrease in arrivals in January-August 2020. Africa and the Middle East both recorded a 69% drop this eight-month period, while Europe saw a 68% decline and the Americas 65%.

Data on international tourism expenditure continues to reflect very weak demand for outbound travel, though in several large markets such as the United States, Germany and Italy there was a small uptick in spending in July and August.

Based on latest trends, a 75% decrease in international arrivals was estimated for the month of September and a drop of close to 70% for the whole of 2020.

While demand for international travel remains subdued, domestic tourism is strengthening recovery in several large markets such as China and Russia.

Experts consider travel restrictions as the main barrier weighing on the recovery of international tourism, along with slow virus containment and low consumer confidence.

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