People, Travel

Online Train Booking Promotes Tourism

Online booking infrastructure in Iran is still underdeveloped.Online booking infrastructure in Iran is still underdeveloped.

An official online portal has been launched that allows for easy booking of tickets for passenger and tourist trains.

A passenger train travels on schedule, moving from one location to the next, whereas tourist trains follow specific itineraries.

The website was unveiled during the Fifth International Exposition of Rail Transportation and Related Industries and Equipment (May 15-18). However, at the time of writing, the website was not accessible.

“The launch of this portal will improve rail transportation services for passengers and tourists,” said Ahmad Khodaei, deputy director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, IRNA reported.

Travelers will have access to up-to-date information on train schedules and tour packages. While is available in English, Financial Tribune could not verify if the online portal is also accessible in English.

Foreign travelers can use prepaid tourist bank cards issued at Iran’s international airports and select banks branches of Bank Melli, Bank Sepah and Tourism Bank. The cards are rechargeable.

The launch of the portal comes as Iran is trying to bring tourism infrastructure—both physical and online—up to standard. There are numerous e-booking websites for hotels and airlines, but many are underdeveloped and inefficient.

To develop rail tourism, the IRIR has launched train tours, the first of which started operating in Khuzestan Province in Norouz—Iranian New Year—(21 March-2 April) and was well received by tourists.

The second train tour started on Friday, taking tourists from Tehran to Savadkouh in Mazandaran Province and back.

“These trains are seen as mobile hotels and have proven to be popular, so we’re aiming to expand these tours,” Khodaei said.

The international rail transportation exhibition was held in Tehran with 160 domestic and 130 foreign companies showcasing their latest achievements in the sector.

The expo was aimed at encouraging the production of rail equipment, promoting the latest technologies and introducing investment potentials to Iranian and foreign businesses. 

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