People, Travel
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20 Online Travel Agencies Authorized

 Licensing online travel agencies is an effort by tourism authorities to combat fraudulent activities. Licensing online travel agencies is an effort by tourism authorities to combat fraudulent activities.

Since the launch of a scheme a week ago by Iran's tourism body to authorize online travel agencies, 20 permits have been issued.

The scheme aims to streamline and supervise the activities of online travel agencies by requiring all individuals and groups to obtain a permit to run their business online.

"But you don't need to have a registered travel agency to obtain a permit," Ali Rafiei, tourism deputy at the Tehran office of Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, told Mehr News Agency.

Cyberspace is rife with individuals or groups that offer substandard services to unsuspecting consumers. In order to combat fraudulent activities, ICHHTO announced in June that it had drawn up guidelines that require all entities offering travel and tourism services online to apply for and acquire a permit.

Applicants must visit Tnamad.ichto.ir and upload the required documents, which will be reviewed by provincial chapters of ICHHTO. Once approved, the applicant’s case will be submitted to the Monitoring and Evaluation of Tourism Services Office at ICHHTO for final approval.  Approved businesses will be able to use an “e-trust” icon issued by the Iranian E-Commerce Development Company on their website.

Failure to obtain a permit and ignore warnings from Iran’s Cyber Police will result in an automatic ban on the websites.

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