People, Travel

15 Travel Agencies in Tehran Lose Permits

15 Travel Agencies in Tehran Lose Permits15 Travel Agencies in Tehran Lose Permits

Poor service quality and failure to meet legal obligations have cost 15 travel agencies in Tehran their permits in the past two months.

Speaking to IRNA, Ali Rafiei, tourism deputy at Tehran Province’s office of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said ICHHTO’s constant monitoring of tour operators’ activities and people’s inclination to report misconduct have helped the organization identify and punish travel agencies that fail to comply with regulations.

“We revoked the permits of 15 travel agencies in the city of Tehran during the months of Tir (June 21-July 21) and Mordad (July 22-August 21),” he said, adding that 44 other agencies were either fined or had their license suspended for one to three months.

Speaking to IRNA, Rafiei claimed there are still numerous cases to be decided upon at the Tourism Commission of Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.

According to Rajabali Khosroabadi, the head of ICHHTO’s office in the city of Tehran, a commission tasked with investigating claims of misconduct by travel agencies has been formed at the organization and if the claims prove to be true, offending travel agencies will be punished with no leniency.

Earlier in July, ICHHTO suspended the permits of 73 travel agencies in Tehran Province for offering substandard services and canceled 200 tours over failure to meet the organization’s standards in the last Iranian year (ended March 19).

Currently, over 1,800 tour and travel companies operate in Tehran, which may seem like a large number but given the city’s population of 12 million, it makes sense. However, the large number of tour operators does not mean people receive the services they deserve, so ICHHTO has to diligently monitor their activities.

In spite of the lack of people working for ICHHTO, officials say the extra effort and strict supervision have led to a palpable increase in service quality compared to past years.