People, Travel

Discord Over ‘Blank Bookings’

Discord Over ‘Blank Bookings’Discord Over ‘Blank Bookings’

A deputy at the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, Morteza Rahmani Movahed has expressed strong opposition to ‘white reservation’ in some hotels; but head of Iran Hotel Association, Jamshid Hamzezadeh regards the practice in line with international norms and a way to expand national tourism.

Director general of the Office for Supervision and Evaluation of Tourism Services, Vali Teymouri defined white reservation saying, “There are hotels that have no customers, but claim that they are at full capacity. An agency calls a hotel and requests beds for 50 people. The hotel should normally ask for identification of the travelers and receive a part of the fares in advance before having the rooms booked.” But this is not what hotels do; they readily reserve the rooms for a specific period of time and receive 50% of the fares. “They do not demand identification. It is not clear for whom the rooms are booked.”

White reservation is a fictional occupation of hotel, and when travelers come to an empty hotel, they are sometimes told that there are no rooms available, ISNA reported.

Teymouri holds that white reservation is outside the professional framework. When the user of a room is unknown, it will pass to several brokers, with each transfer raising the fare higher. This sort of blank reservation is by no means an international norm; all over the world rooms are reserved under specific names and identifications.

Rahmani Movahed recently voiced opposition to the white reservation and warned that if tourist centers do not abide by the law, they will be forced by the law. “The white reservation, practiced in some hotels, is not legal. Mass reservations are against the law, and we have notified hotels about it.”

Hamzezadeh supports the idea of blank reservation as a reasonable way to help promote national tourism. “They do it all around the world,” because it gives travel agencies the opportunity to sell what they sell. The agencies need to have something solid, so they blank book hotel rooms. If an agency is not sure about empty rooms, how can it organize tours and sell them?”

There will be no problem if hotels and agencies register the IDs of travelers one week prior to their arrival, he said.