People, Travel

Holiday Prices Rising Despite ICHHTO's Efforts

Holiday Prices Rising Despite ICHHTO's EffortsHoliday Prices Rising Despite ICHHTO's Efforts

With the approach of the Iranian New Year (begins March 21), the country's domestic travel market is facing a price bubble despite tourism authorities' efforts to keep the cost of travel down.

Norouz, the Iranian New Year holidays when schools and universities plus many offices and organization are off for about 13 days, is considered a high tourism season in Iran when transport and lodging prices naturally rise.

Officials at Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization have stressed that the upcoming Norouz holiday "must be different" in terms of affordability, and have called upon the private sector, especially those active in the hospitality sector, to keep prices down and offer affordable services.

ICHHTO's chief, Zahra Ahmadipour, had earlier said that the prevalence of outbound tourism is negatively impacting the country's domestic tourism market, the travel news website Safar reported.

"The fact that outbound travel is offered at lower prices and is preferred by the public over the huge potential of domestic destinations is not appropriate," she said during a speech at Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture in December 2016.  

Emphasizing that "travelers have a right to choose", she blamed the shortcoming on underdeveloped infrastructure and the inability to tap into Iran's tourism potential.

Ahmadipour stressed that the responsibilities of each sector with regard to Norouz services must be clearly defined.

Nevertheless, holiday prices, from transport to food, are experiencing a rising trend on the verge of Norouz. Airfares have gone up and will most likely continue to do so until Norouz.

Hoteliers, which have repeatedly denied having any plans to up their rates and are even offering discounts for the two-week holiday, may end up increasing their prices, the news website reported.

It seems that ICHHTO does not have the legal and disciplinary clout to enforce policies for reducing travel costs.


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