People, Travel

End to Hotel Pricing Saga Near?

End to Hotel Pricing Saga Near?End to Hotel Pricing Saga Near?

Can the seemingly unending saga over hotel prices and which organization should set them be coming to a close? It seems so.

According to ISNA, Iranian Hoteliers Society and Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization are in talks to devise a so-called “pricing guidelines” which would allow hotel owners to set prices and the organization function in a supervisory role.

Hoteliers have long complained about ICHHTO “meddling in their affairs,” arguing that the organization’s insistence on setting room rates stifles competition and hurts the hospitality industry. They have repeatedly called for the deregulation of hotel rates, with even economists saying that will help spur growth in both the tourism and hospitality sectors.

The saga over rates began last year when ICHHTO and IHS clashed over the annual increase in room rates, with the former saying any price hike above 12% (the inflation rate) would be illegal and the latter pushing and insisting on a 15% rise.

Initial reports suggested that the tourism officials and hoteliers had compromised on 12%. However, later it was said that no such agreement had been reached, with hoteliers accusing the ICHHTO of trying to impose full control over the hospitality industry and tourism officials fighting back by insisting that they are protecting the people’s right to affordable travel.

While one cannot be certain that this drawn-out problem is reaching an end until both sides say they have reached a final and definite agreement, the news that the issue could finally be put to rest is a refreshing change from the near-constant and irritating  public squabbling that has plagued two key sectors for months.