People, Travel

45% Hotel Occupancy in Norouz

45% Hotel Occupancy in Norouz45% Hotel Occupancy in Norouz

Iranian hotels registered a 45% occupancy rate during the Norouz (Iranian New Year) holidays (March 20–April 2) with 1.45 million people spending at least one night in hotels.

Dissatisfied with the low figure, Iranian Hoteliers Society has once again laid the blame at the doors of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization for providing alternatives for tourists.

“With hotels more than half empty, schools and vacation rentals continue to accommodate travelers [who would otherwise have chosen to stay in a hotel],” said Jamshid Hamzezadeh, the head of the society.

Hotel owners have been critical of ICHHTO for supporting vacation rentals, claiming that the hotel industry is suffering losses because more people choose to stay in such places.

“ICHHTO is even considering the use of [Islamic] Azad University buildings and guesthouses as temporary lodging places, which will compound our problems,” he said.

Hamzezadeh maintained that these policies would be appropriate only when hotels are fully booked.

“ICHHTO has not even once taken a step in support of hotel owners as part of its responsibilities,” the hotelier said.

He voiced support for a measure in the parliament to turn ICHHTO into a ministry, which would render the organization answerable to lawmakers.

Hamzezadeh said the society has initiated talks with lawmakers and related commissions in the parliament to help the bill sail through the chamber and become law.

“We will unite with other tourism societies to support the plan,” he said.



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