People, Travel

ICHHTO Bureaucracy Hurting Online Tourism Businesses

ICHHTO Bureaucracy Hurting  Online Tourism BusinessesICHHTO Bureaucracy Hurting  Online Tourism Businesses

Unnecessary regulations imposed by Iran’s tourism body are preventing the growth of online tourism businesses that have already received permits from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance, an official at the Iranian Society of E-Commerce said.

Speaking to Mehr News Agency, Reza Olfat-Nasab added that a number of websites operating legally have been blocked by some Internet service providers and mobile operators since June 21, following an injunction by Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

“These online businesses already had the ‘E’ symbol granted by the ministry to approved websites, but they were blocked because they hadn’t applied for ICHHTO’s permit,” he said.

The official noted that tourism-related businesses must have the ‘T’ seal granted by the tourism organization on their website, an ICHHTO move which, he said, is pointless.

“If a business has cleared the Economy Ministry’s hurdles, why must there be a need to go through another long process to obtain permits from another entity for the same purpose?” he asked.

Olfat-Nasab said instead of appointing multiple entities to oversee online tourism commerce, it’s best to empower one body, in this case the ministry, to watch over the sector.

“We’ll have a meeting with the Center for E-Commerce Development (affiliated to the ministry) to discuss the issue … Having too many organizations overseeing the sector is harmful,” he said.


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