Coronavirus in Iran

Coronavirus in Iran: How kids are dealing with the situation?

Coronavirus in Iran has drastically changed our lifestyle for the past year just like many people around the world, we have experienced less hanging around, less traveling and adventure, and fewer fun times. And we should not ignore the fact that all these, have been much more boring for kids rather than the adults. We may think they rarely grasp the circumstance, however, UNICEF has recently published some interesting photos taken by Erfan Kouchari, a young Iranian photographer, representing how Iranian kids are spending their “Stay at Home” time these days!
Surprisingly, Iranian kids have escaped onto the rooftops of their houses providing themselves a piece of freedom to play, plant gardens, fly kites, do gymnastics, and even set up a tent to enjoy fake camping with their siblings!
Coronavirus in Iran has caused the death of 50,000 Iranians so far, but these amazing photos give us sparks of hope on how children understand the tough situation and contribute to the social isolation rules. They also show a real image of Iran, where the media constantly try to spread panic about and convince people with negative impressions.
We are proud to have these educated children to enlighten the future of our country.
Enjoy seeing these amazing photos by Erfan Kouchari!

live tours - Iran Doostan

Iran Doostan turns to live tours during the COVID-19 pandemic

2020 has been a completely different year so far, we have had experienced a tough time of isolation and staying at home, travelers and adventurers had rarely been able to travel and many tour operators have faced a recession.
As a pioneer tour operator that has been involved in incoming tours to Iran and providing the tourists with amazing memorable experiences, Iran Doostan started to address the issue through having brainstorming sessions, market research, and email marketing to exchange ideas with the partners making them aware of what we are doing. These newsletters were mainly focused on successful benchmarks during a similar crisis before and also the role of technology.

Our managers at Iran Doostan strongly believe that the tourism industry is experiencing a turning point, it is not simply a matter of the lockdown situation; there will be major changes to the travel industry after the pandemic as well. So, the industry is in need of creative solutions, and that was how our idea of “live tours” was born. However, we know that real travel experiences cannot be replaced by the live ones, that is why we have thought of special live tours that may never happen even in your real traveling to Iran!
In November 2020, Iran Doostan launched its first live tour, it was a culinary tour with an experienced tour guide sharing some Persian classic recipes. Many enthusiastic visitors joined us and loved the tour, they can talk to the tour guide, ask a question, tell their ideas, we even welcome their ideas for future tours!

If you are interested to see it, watch our Iranian Culinary Tour online now!

The second live tour was to present a private ceramic museum which is quite unknown to the visitors in Iran and even the Iranians! A lovely and cozy place run by an artist couple that truly came to amaze the visitors.
You can watch the ceramic museum tour online here.

The next live tour in Iran took place in a traditional ceramic factory, which was a 700-year-old business family with a positive atmosphere created by the lovely colorful ceramic objects around. This tour was also loved by many visitors.

You can join us on a virtual tour of a ceramic workshop at the link below.

Considering the successful experiences of our live tours taking place in special places such as a traditional factory or a private museum that is more like a gorgeous garden, Iran Doostan now believes that experiencing such tours in a country with uncountable tourism attractions would not be easily possible in real tours and we have decided to expand this market for the enthusiastic visitors.

Mohammad Reza Shajarian

A farewell to the legendary singer and composer of Iran: Mohammad Reza Shajarian

Mohammad Reza Shajarian’s name and contemporary Iranian music are so intertwined that many consider him as the most distinguished and influential character of the past century in Iranian music. His voice was recognized as part of the country’s Intangible Cultural Heritage by the Ministry of Tourism of Iran.
He passed away on Oct. 8 at age 80 in hospital following a long-term disease; many media outlets around the world still cover news and articles on Shajarian’s contribution to classical music, his vitalizing role in the Persian language, and his significant role in the world heritage. He received awards from UNESCO as the symbol of Iranian music and he was recognized among the top 50 voices in the world. These media also shed light on different aspects of Shajarian’s Character and life, that rarely happens to other artists and musicians.

Shajarian

Thousands of Iranians paid respect to Mohammad Reza Shajarian, the legendary Persian Singer and composer at his funeral.

Many international political and cultural icons of the world wrote and sent messages of condolence at the same time as Shajarian’s death, indicating that Iran lost his most outstanding voice.

Mohammad Shirkavand shared some words o this great loss:

“Shajarian, Voice of Iran Is in Peace
Let me say that how satisfied I am with your presence in the pure moments of my life and how I can remember you when all the remembrance and thought of poetry and music and the definition of art to me means Shajarian. You have lived a joyful song, you have become the eternal voice of a nation, you have become an excuse for art to become what is sung in this noisy soul. The dawn of my silences, the spring of my winters, the sound of silence, the cheers of the desert, the light of the night, and the representation of the riddle of the universe, I am glad to be with you and I am happy to have lived in a time when I felt living with Hafez of my time.”

He was buried in Mashhad, Tus, beside the tomb of Ferdowsi, the eminent epic poet of Iran, among the glorious presence of his fans.
As we mourn the profound loss, we commemorate his name in our thoughts and hearts forever. May he rest in peace, the Persian Singer and Composer of All Times.

Mohamadali ashraf vaghefi

Coronavirus and the threats to the future of tourism in Iran

Mohammad Ali Vaghefi, the vice president of the Iranian Tour Operators Association had an online interview with Marketing and Advertising Manager at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts discussing the state of domestic and international tourism in Iran.

He admitted that 90% of the 2020 incoming tours to Iran have been canceled So far, and there is a high possibility of canceling the remaining 10%. However, many foreign agencies are already asking Iranian agencies for their travel package price in 2021. Many Iranian hotels, transportation companies, and travel agencies including Iran Doostan have predicted the requirements for traveling to Iran in this situation, and we are prepared to welcome our dear tourists, individually or in a group, considering all health protocols.

Mr. Vaghefi’s analysis of the situation, as a manager with more than 30 years of experience, is that domestic travel in Iran will be established first, and then demands in the travel sector will be raised by tourists with private vehicles. Many tourists prefer to go camping in nature and stay in tents or even rent a villa and disinfect it instead of booking a hotel room.

Regarding international travel, he believes that by resuming travels, there will be long lines for health control. Sanitary products and alcohol-based stuff will be added to the accessories that the tourist must hold. Passengers are required to receive travel insurance. The number of visitors and the number of visits to historical places and museums will decline, and by observing the slightest sign of illness, the person is excluded from the tour.

He continued: “We expect that demand for nature tourism will grow, and traveling in a group will be less frequent. Our tourism partners in other countries are already asking for a price of groups of one to eight people.” As a result, with regard to the health protocol, the cost of travel services, including plane tickets will increase and travel will become a luxury service.

At the end of the discussion Mr. Vaghefi asked for the government’s help to this sector, and

expressed his concerns this way: “In this situation, the government should contribute to the tourism industry.” It is important to keep the industry alive, the most important thing that should be considered is to keep the employees of the sector. It may take about four years for us to find a replacement for the specialized workforces that have left the profession.

solar eclipse

Iran sky witnessed the last Solar eclipse of the century

Today, on June 21, 2020, Iran observed an annual solar eclipse starting at 9:05 and finished at 11:37 in the morning.

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, and the moon casts a shadow over Earth which fully or partially blocks sunlight.
In a total eclipse, the disk of the Sun is fully obscured by the Moon. In partial and annular eclipses, only part of the Sun is obscured.

Today’s eclipse was a kind of ring eclipse that make it partially invisible for most people around the world. Unlike, lunar eclipse, it is important where you are standing on Earth when a solar eclipse occurs.

solar eclipse

Solar eclipse in Iran- 21 June 2020. Photo by: Mehr News Agency

The eclipse starts from central Africa, passes through Yemen and southern Iran, and moves toward Pakistan, India, China, and the Pacific Ocean. In Iran, the eclipse was mostly visible in Chabahar, a city in the far southeast of the country.

This was the last solar eclipse of the century in Iran, happening on the first day of summer.

A solar eclipse is an astronomical phenomenon, which is considered a natural tourist attraction. Since it looks different in various parts of Earth, many astronomy lovers travel around the world, often to the spots where the eclipse is most observable, not to miss this phenomenon. However, the present lockdown situation barely let people travel to see this event.

Parvizkhan border

Coronavirus: Is Iran going to reopen travel borders?

On account of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Iran borders have been interdicted free movements as a push to distance country from the Pandemic since February 2020. Last week some Iranian authorities have announced the reopening of Iran’s border and the arrival of export cargo to its neighbors, and that some of the restrictions can be eased before the estimated time, and possibly as soon as in a couple of weeks.

According to the report of BBC Persian, Majid Reza Hariri, A member of the Iranian Chamber of Commerce also said: “The Iran-Iraq border is open for business, and exports are proceeding normally along the Iraq border.”

The customs spokesman announced the reopening of the Iranian-Turkish border in early March and also said that trade and commercial activities between Iran and Azarbayjan would be carried out by land, rail, and maritime boundaries. At the same time, the transit of Iranian exports to Russia is underway with special formalities.

According to the head of Iran Road Maintenance & Transportation Organization, 14 joint roads with Azerbaijan, Iraq, and Afghanistan, including Astara, Bilesvar, Jolfa, Poldasht, Shalamcheh, Bashmak, Tamerchin, Mehran, Parviz Khan, Khosravi, Dogharon, Mahirud, and Shir are open without a hitch, but we have limitations with borders of Turkey, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, and Armenia.

Those of us who are excited to travel probably can’t wait to go abroad, but it seems like we are still away off from it for a while.

Irandoostan

Coronavirus and travel industry: Our story of dealing with the challenging situation

The travel industry is experiencing the hardest hit by the unexpected wave of COVID-19 outbreak. We are all facing a situation that was quite unimaginable some weeks ago, but rarely people ask how about the future? What will the travel industry look like after the coronavirus?

Iran Doostan Tours Co.: The best tour operator in Iran

About 30 years ago when we decided to start our business with cultural tours to Iran, we were totally aware of how sensitive the industry might be to different circumstances ranging from political tensions to social unrests, health issues, and etc. We have either experienced or witnessed many of these obstacles as a tourist company in Iran over these years. Yet, what made us continue to struggle was the passion for our work!
Today, Iran Doostan has been expanded in spite of all the restrictions. There are various departments handling a diversity of package tours and services including cultural tours, adventure and eco-tours, medical tours, and Mice tours. Besides these, there are supporting departments as well, such as accounting, operation, human resources, IT, and digital marketing.

 

How do we deal with the situation?

Until some weeks ago we were growing, but now we are witnessing changes in travel demand. Well, it is a tough situation but not happening for the first time! Fortunately, Iran Doostan Tours Co. was the first Iranian tour operator that adopted a fully fleshed out remote infrastructure for its employees to work from home in order to care for their health and prevent the transmission of the virus, by the time the first few cases were identified in Iran, we continued to work online. My colleagues are online at home to deal with any phone call or email and they are pleasantly ready to assist you with any requests.

Nearly all of our tours have been canceled until the end of July, which was quite unpredictable by the beginning of 2020. To deal with it, we kept negotiating with our service providers, mainly the hotels, not to receive cancellation fees.

Although many companies decide to shut down over the epidemic, we are optimistic toward the future of the travel and tourism industry and we do not mean to ruin what we have built over all these years. To make better use of this time, we came up with a creative solution that is taking the situation as an opportunity for our organization to train the personnel through online sessions. This is how we will make ourselves prepared for the productive tomorrow.

 

What do we think about the future of the travel industry?

We do believe despite what is happening, being optimistic in an integral part of our business. The travel industry has rebounded from past crises and it will bounce back again. After all, people would always dream about more traveling and new experiences and we would be there to offer the desirable service they wish for.

We would overcome the situation pretty soon; hope the remaining months of 2020 would be productive and successful for all tourism businesses around the world, and that we continue our fruitful cooperation more than before.

Hospitality Tomorrow: The virtual Conference on the future of Hospitality

As many as 5000 hospitality professionals participated in the virtual conference called “Hospitality Tomorrow” yesterday on 7 March to unite as “one” community encountering the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the global economy and society.

Although assessing the impacts of the pandemic on the hospitality industry is not certain right now, the tourism and hospitality professionals took part in the conference to discuss three main concerns regarding the world’s unprecedented situation:

  1. Changes in our world and people – operationally, financially, and psychologically
  2. Where, when and how signs of recovery can be anticipated
  3. The role of Travel & Tourism in accelerating momentum for recovery

Most of the specialists who gave a speech in this show expressed an optimistic view of the future of the hospitality industry.

Paul Stoltz, chief executive of Peak Learning and a leading resilience analyst argued that “companies should grab this opportunity to create a new experience, one that is safer, better, more relaxed and enjoyable than even a guests’ own home.”

Roger Bootle, chairman of Capital Economics, a leading independent macroeconomic research firm also stated his optimistic view on the crisis: “although some countries will see falls in GDP of 20 percent or more in a very short period, there is every chance we will get a ‘v’ shaped recovery – a very fast pick-up once the worst is past.”

Discussing changes in our world and people he believes that the situation may damage the personal finance of people even for a year or two, but after this time the memory will fade in the longer term.

Roger Dow, chief executive of the United States Travel Association said: “tourism would be a key part of the economic recovery.” Regarding the anticipation of a recovery, he stated: “we must be prepared in the right time for the recovery”. However, as he argues the recovery will also come in waves, first shows itself in domestic tourism and then internationally.

Richard Haddad, chief executive of Jannah Hotels & Resorts pointed out that the “hospitality industry is facing, joining hands and knowing that everyone is working globally towards the brighter ‘tomorrow’ is vital for the travel and tourism world.”

These are just some of the optimistic viewpoints expressed by the professionals of the industry in this virtual conference. We are all now united as “one” community gets prepared for a brighter future when tourism and hospitality will be flourished again. Hope we all benefit from sustainable tourism around the world once more.

WTTC updates on coronavirus

WTTC Coronavirus Brief External 25.03

We expect your world is really tough right now, so, we find proactive sharing of information quite beneficial in this situation. Through this post, we would like to publish a brief document shared by the World Travel and Tourism Council with governments across the globe advocating supporting all impacted businesses in the Travel and Tourism sector. What appears significant in the current tough situation, is to work side by side to minimize the impact and search for alternatives to support the most impacted and aim for a quick recovery.

WTTC has reported 424,048 Coronavirus cases around the world by 25 March, with 18,947 deaths and 109,145 recoveries. Although COVID-19 is less infectious than similar diseases such as influenza, it leads to more deaths. According to the latest research by WTTC, it is estimated that up to 75 million jobs are at immediate risk. A potential loss of up to $2.1 trillion in 2020 is taking place in Travel and Tourism GDP with a staggering one million job being lost every day in this sector due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Many countries seem to be affected by the epidemic.

COVID-19 is no longer the challenge of individual countries, but rather a global issue. All countries must take part in finding solutions for the survival of the T&T sector. WTTC proposes three vital measures to support the T&T sector.

To know more about these measures and also the latest update on the Coronavirus pandemic, please find the attached file in the link below:

WTTC Coronavirus Brief External 25.03

Travel Risk Map 2020

Travel Risk Map 2020: Iran is a safe destination to travel

Have a call for traveling to Iran in 2020 and feel uncertain? Well, if you are looking for some clue, 2020 Travel Risk Map seems a reliable source. According to International SOS, Iran is a safe destination, just as safe as Turkey with a record of more than 39.5 million foreign visitors in 2018!

Launched by global risk experts International SOS in collaboration with Control Risks, the Travel Risk Map 2020 indicates the danger level of different territories and countries based on factors threatening travelers such as violent and petty crime, political violence (politically motivated war and unrest, insurgency, terrorism) and social unrest (sectarian, communal and ethnic violence). More factors such as the effectiveness of the security and emergency services, the country’s susceptibility to natural disasters, and the robustness of the transport infrastructure are also taken into consideration to represent more detailed information.

The map categorizes countries based on five levels of risk: insignificant, low, medium, high and extreme. Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Greenland are the few countries in Europe to fall in the category of insignificant risk ones. The majority of European countries as well as the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are considered low risk. While there are courtiers such as Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen rated as “Extreme” risk in the Middle East, Iran has been recognized as a medium risk destination along with Russia, Turkey, and India.

Travel risk map 2020 indicates that in spite of the imposed sanctions on Iran, and also what is covered in media about this country, the world admits Iran as a safe country to travel. Our experience of FITUR 2020, held on 22-26 January has also been amazing so far and we are waiting for more tourist arrivals and stronger partnerships in the future.

Iran is a fascinating destination to explore; its long history and geographically diverse land have provided remarkable cultural and natural attractions such as outstanding architecture, elegant gardens, remarkable wildlife, scenic scenery, delicious cuisine, awesome waterfalls, deep canyons, vast deserts, high mountains, and more importantly friendly people.

You are warmly welcomed here to experience a life-long memorable trip.