People, Travel

Traveling Still a Luxury

Traveling Still a LuxuryTraveling Still a Luxury

High costs of traveling have made tourism a luxury, according to the director of the Association of Air Transport and Tourism Agencies of Iran.

Speaking to the travel news website Safar, Mohammad Hassan Kermani added that travel agents are not expecting a particularly busy travel season.

"There is no excitement in the Norouz travel market," he said.

Norouz (Iranian New Year) holidays start in late March and last for about two weeks. Kermani said traveling is not an essential feature in family activities because the associated costs are too much for most families.

"It is out of most people's purchasing power," he said.

Nevertheless, the official said there is still hope, as foreign Norouz destinations will probably not be on people's radar this year.

"Turkey is losing its appeal because of security risks, while Armenia and Azerbaijan are experiencing freezing temperatures. There's also little interest in Malaysia and Dubai (in the UAE)," he said.

Kermani and his colleagues are staunch supporters of a proposal to establish a national fund that subsidizes travel. They argue that it can help make traveling more affordable for families that may otherwise be reluctant to travel.

According to the most recent figures released by the Statistical Center of Iran, 46% of Iranians did not travel last summer for a variety of reasons, including low purchasing power.


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