Mission to Save the Iran Tourism Industry on Life Support

Image of a hotel in Iran

With Nowruz fast approaching, the Iranian hotel industry is facing an uphill struggle to stay afloat.

TEHRAN, IRAN, February 19, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — With around 7 million foreign visitors per year, Iran boasts a below average figure far behind Turkey, UAE, Saudi Arabia and even Iraq. While this figure was on an upward trend increasing by average 8% per year over the past few years, COVID-19 as well as increased unilateral sanctions and continuous barrage of negative press seems to have driven tourism to Iran to a near standstill. It’s no secret the entire tourism and aviation sectors globally are on a huge downturn, however Iran facing currency devaluation and four years of the most crippling sanctions is under extra pressure to keep it’s tourism industry afloat.

Iran boasts 2,050 hotels with nearly 500 under construction saw occupancy rates drop to as little as 5% in 2020 during the peak of Nowruz Iranian new year which coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditionally during Nowruz, Iranians pack their bags ready to travel and the country pretty much shuts down for 2 weeks during the new year celebrations, with highly dense mega cities like Tehran able to take a breather from high pollution and never ending traffic jams while everyone is away. With the Persian new year fast approaching, the Iranian hotel industry is bracing itself for another year of heavy financial losses with limitations imposed on traveling internally and international tourists flying from abroad to visit Iran.

“I think it’s time for government and businesses to cooperate during this difficult time to support the Iranian tourism industry, platforms who charge commission for hotel bookings should temporarily freeze such add-on charges and pass the savings to the consumer to entice them to book hotels at a cheaper cost. Strategically it’s in the benefit of booking platforms to keep the Iranian hotel industry standing long enough till their back in profit, so they can also take a slice of the pie. This is exactly what we have been doing with our site, we don’t charge any advertising commission for Iran based hotel apartments who list a property with us and pass the entire revenue to help support their sustainability during this difficult time” said Ali Yaz, owner of rentiranapartment.com an Iranian Airbnb alternative platform.

It’s still unclear what restrictions will be imposed on travel which has lead to many of the Iranian diaspora to make alternative Nowruz plans instead of their traditional visit back home.

Mr Yaz went to say “We have seen an increase in traffic and leads over the last few weeks, the majority are from foreign businesses who wish to visit Iran in a safe manner and stay in a comfortable, clean disinfected space. However increasingly we are seeing an influx of leads from the Iranian diaspora requesting information on travel rules to Iran during Nowruz, quarantine measures, safety and health insurance concerns. We try and help everyone to the best of our ability with safety primarily in mind, however as the government hasn’t announced clear guidance for Nowruz travel we try and offer as much factual information as we can to travelers.”

With Iran developing their own COVID vaccine as well as acquiring foreign supplies, there is hope that the tourism sector can gradually bounce back to pre-COVID levels in 2022.

“It’s rare to see foreigners travel to Iran and forget the memories of this beautiful country, I hope to see historic sights of Shiraz, Isfahan, religious sights in Mashhad and Qom and bazaars in Tehran bustling with foreign tourists soon. Iran truly is a gem in the Middle East, people’s initial perceptions are often completely overturned by the surprisingly modern, developed and heartwarming reality during their visit” Mr Yaz finished saying.

Mehrdad Johari
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Source: EIN Presswire