National Tree Planting Day

National Tree Planting Day, Showing respect for nature in Iran

March 5th has been marked as a national tree planting day in Iran, it is 15 days before the beginning of Nowruz, Iranian New Year, and it is meant to respect the earth and welcoming the beginning of spring.
Iranians have always had a special interest in nature and this has made this day important among the people of our country. Planting trees has been considered a sacred ritual in ancient Iran and has always been appreciated by Iranians from a long time ago. Today, Iranians plant young seedlings, flowers, and grass in parks and other suitable areas of the city they live in. Some environmentalists take part in collecting waste from mountains or forests to show respect for nature on this day.
Iran Doostan means Iran lovers, and as the lovers of this ancient land, our team members participate in planting trees to play their role in protecting nature. We are also honored to be an Iranian tour operator caring about sustainable tourism, this video shows a group of eco-tourists in Iran who were engaged in planting seedlings on national tree planting day last year at Matin Abad desert eco-camp.

Click here to watch
https://youtu.be/MOn0e8vq03c

 

World Wildlife Day

World Wildlife Day: Forests and livelihoods as 2021 theme

World Wildlife Day is celebrated annually on March 3rd; the United Nation has announced “Forest and livelihoods: sustaining people and planet” as 2021 theme to celebrate the day by focusing on the livelihoods of the communities which are highly dependent on the forests and also the significance of these precious ecosystems for the endurance of animals and human beings on Earth.
Covering an area of one-third of the land surface on the Earth, forests play a remarkable role in human livelihoods and well-being. It has been proved that where there is forest, there is also a concentration of tribal people or rural population relying on these forests.
Besides that, it is not only local peoples’ livelihood that relies on forests, these rich ecosystems are home to a variety of flora and fauna species, they are considered a pre-requirement to the survival of biodiversity on the Earth.
As it appears, forests have been prone to many threats during past decades due to the drastic change of climatic conditions, global warming, bushfire as a result of the rise in the temperature, and changing rainfall patterns. Our planet Earth has also been suffered from deforestation accompanying economic development in many countries. Given that forests are vital to animals’ and humans’ life and well-being, particular attention should be paid to the preservation of these natural sources and the first step toward mitigating impacts on forests is turning to green growth strategies. As the 2021 theme suggests, making use of the local knowledge would be a possible remedy toward sustaining forests and saving all lives on the Planet.
We believe the travel and tourism industry could best contribute through developing sustainable tourism in the rural areas making use of the local communities, making tourists learn rural living standards, and apply them as far as possible.

And finally, on world wildlife day, we are honored to play our role as a pioneer in ecotourism and a practitioner of corporate social responsibility (CSR), in saving the endangered Caspian seal. Iran Doosan Tours has declared its supports and contributes to the endangered Caspian Seal project.
IDT hopes to continue its social responsibility efforts toward promoting responsible tourism and raising awareness of Iran’s wildlife.

vaccination against COVID-19

Iran started vaccination against COVID-19

We are happy to announce that, just like many other countries, Iran started vaccination against COVID-19 last week. Medical staffs are the first groups to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, and the vaccination process will continue for senior citizens over 65 and then vulnerable patients in the next stages.
According to the Iran Ministry of Health and Medical Education, the vaccination program would be executed in four stages to cover 70% of the target population.
We all hope the vaccination development would be the ultimate healing solution for the tourism industry and tourism companies around the world to witness the growth and flourishing once again.

You may now put Iran on your travel bucket list for 2021! If you have a call for traveling to Iran in 2021, get in touch with us through info@idt.com, we would be more than happy to help you.

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 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!

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 to watch some moments of virtual tours held by Iran Doostan.

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.