Departure tax in Iran, unjustified threefold increase!

[A footage of IRIB program in which Iranian government spokesperson, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, makes some excuses about an enormous increase in departure tax in Iran. He says those who go on foreign trips should pay for tourism infrastructures in Iran by paying such taxes.]

TV host: In this [budget] bill, departure tax has suddenly become 220,000 tomans. What is going on? Should people go on a trip or not? Is it only for those who can afford it?

Government spokesperson: Yes, it is only for those who can! Well, as you know, we have great grounds for tourism inside our country. Everybody complains why we are not taking care of them – our museums and our ancient monuments. Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization always expect that we create opportunities for attracting tourists. Now those who go for tourism to foreign countries can help tourism inside their own countries. And for this, we are very thankful, and consider this a kind of public participation in our country’s tourism infrastructures. Therefore, in this year’s budget, certain resources have been allocated to tourism which are based on these numbers [money taken from departure tax]. Well, this is customary all over the world. President of one of the neighboring countries – I won’t say which one, but it is one of the countries the tourists often go to – had told our president that money for all these roads – and not just hotels, but all these signs of developments – is not paid by the government. All is done by the private sector. Anyhow, we all should participate. If we, including those who go to other countries, want to take care of our own country and provide tourism infrastructure, we can do it through such participation.