People, Travel

Airbnb-Style Service Deemed Illegal in Tehran

Airbnb-Style Service Deemed Illegal in Tehran
Airbnb-Style Service Deemed Illegal in Tehran

A senior official at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization has called Airbnb-style accommodation in the Iranian capital “illegal” and warned that legal action could be taken against those offering the internationally popular service.

Morteza Rahmani Movahed, tourism deputy at ICHHTO, said the organization does not approve of such services.

“We’re collaborating with the police force to identify these establishments and take legal action against the perpetrators,” he said.

Movahed argued that the existence of “numerous lodging facilities across Tehran and the large number of hotel projects underway override the need for these types of accommodation”.

This is while according to Ali Farrokhmehr, president of Tehran Hotels Association, the Iranian capital lacks 100 hotels.

This comes only a week after news broke that Swiss-based company OrientStay had launched an Airbnb-style accommodation service in Iran.

Mehrzad Khoi, co-founder of OrientStay, told the English daily that “our concept is to offer foreign tourists an authentic and real experience of Iran. We want them to see the real people, which is usually the biggest surprise for them.”

The website takes all payment methods, giving it an advantage over hotels that cannot accept foreign cards because of banking restrictions imposed on Iran.

In response to Financial Tribune’s request for comment, Khoi said, “All our 310 accomodations are licensed.”

Aside from Tehran, the company operates Tabriz, Shiraz, Isfahan, Kerman, Kermanshah, Ahvaz, Mashhad and Yazd.