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Iranians Travel Less As U.S. Dollar Rose Fourfold In One Year

Iranian pilgrims arrive at the Imam Khomeini international airport in Tehran as they return from the hajj in Saudi's holy Muslim city of Mecca, September 29, 2015

The representative of a travel trade association in Iran says that because of the fall in the value of the Iranian currency, travel abroad declined 45 percent during Nowruz holidays last month.

The official government IRNA news agency quoted Hormatollah Rafiei as saying that both ground and air travel declined as the U.S. dollar rose against the Iranian currency.

To save money, some Iranians managed to go to Turkey with their own private cars. The favorite destinations were Antalya and Istanbul in Turkey.

During better economic times Dubai was also a popular destination, where Iranian entertainers from the U.S. or Europe organized concerts that would not be allowed to be performed inside Iran. But with the falling currency Dubai has become too expensive for many.

Travelling during the New Year two-week holidays has been a tradition for Iranians since modernization of the country enabled citizens to easily drive to other cities in the country or fly to neighboring countries, starting in the 1950s and 60s.

Unprecedented floods were another impediment to travel. Hotel reservations in Iran also declined by 25 percent.