People, Travel

Conferences, Tourists Wrestle for Space in Popular Cities

Conferences, Tourists Wrestle for Space in Popular CitiesConferences, Tourists Wrestle for Space in Popular Cities

Due to Iran’s pleasant weather in spring, a sizeable number of international events are held across the country in springtime. But the concentration of these events has always posed a problem for tourists who are unable to find decent lodging.

The sheer volume of international conferences and symposiums in May means people from different parts of the globe travel to Iran to attend the events, meaning hotel rooms are booked months in advance, which — given Iran’s lack of lodging facilities — means tourists cannot find vacant rooms even in one-star properties and guesthouses.

Tourism professionals have called on officials and organizers to spread out international events across the year instead of holding them during the high season, but to no avail.

In the peak season, hotels in cities like Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz, which are among the main destinations for foreign tourists, have no space to offer.

Jamshid Hamzezadeh, head of the Iranian Hoteliers’ Association, says repeated requests by the association to properly manage and organize international gatherings have been ignored and organizers continue to hold events in the peak season.

Tehran hosts around 10 conferences, seminars and expos during the Iranian month of Ordibehesht (April 20 – May 20). “Every day, we receive several calls asking for vacancies but we can’t accommodate them,” Hamzezadeh was quoted as saying by the Persian-language newspaper Donya-e-Eqtesad.

 “We cannot expect a boom in inbound tourism unless those in charge take steps to tackle the problem,” Hamzezadeh cautioned.

Tourists have complained about a lack of rooms in May on the Facebook tourism group See You in Iran, asking Iranian users to help them find accommodation. Some even tried, but failed, to book rooms in hostels.