People, Travel

Hotels Booked by March 2016

Hotels Booked by March 2016Hotels Booked by March 2016

All four- and five-star hotels in the Iranian metropolises of Isfahan, Yazd, Shiraz, Ahvaz and Tehran are fully booked until the end of the current Iranian year (March 19, 2016), according to the head of Iranian Tour Operators’ Association, Ebrahim Pourfaraj.

While at first glance this might seem like great news, it highlights the country’s lack of quality accommodation, Mehr News Agency reported.

Pourfaraj said the growing number of incoming tourists ensures quality hotels are always fully booked.

He said after Iran and the six major world powers signed the nuclear accord on July 14 in Vienna, demand to visit Iran has substantially increased among western travelers.

“Established  tour operators have signed contracts with us,” he said.

Pourfaraj said they expect such a huge influx of tourists that they have written to Isfahan provincial officials to ask them to postpone autumn festivals such as the International Children’s Film Festival to ensure there are enough four- and five-star establishments available to accommodate tourists.

The country’s lack of lodging facilities has long been touted as a major factor hampering Iran’s efforts to become a top tourist destination and those involved in the industry have consistently called for easing regulations to attract foreign investors.

There are 50 hotel construction projects currently underway in Tehran, while president of Tehran Hotels Association, Ali Farrokhmehr, believes another 50 hotels should be built in the Iranian capital.

If Tehran, a city hardly known for its tourism potential, lacks 100 hotels, one can realize the state of hospitality industry in tourist hubs such as Shiraz, Isfahan and Mashhad.

Hotel construction projects are taking place across Iran, but their slow progress only serves to hinder the country’s plans to attract more foreign tourists.

According to Pourfaraj, hotel construction projects in Iran take on average three years to complete.