People, Travel

Incentives for Domestic Travelers

Incentives for Domestic TravelersIncentives for Domestic Travelers

The travel card program will become operational within the next month and it has been designed in a different format, in collaboration with Iran Insurance Company and a few Iranian banks, said vice president and head of Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), Masoud Soltanifar.

The national initiative has been developed to enable all people, irrespective of their economic status, to take a vacation.

The upward limit of the card will be five times an individuals’ salary. The card can be used in places under contract with ICHHTO. The amount charged on the card, will be reduced from their salary over a fixed period of time, said the official speaking at the fifth meeting of traveling coordination headquarters early last week.

The meeting attendees also included Morteza Rahmani-Movahed, tourism deputy of ICHHTO, and members of the traveling coordination headquarters, CHTN reported.

Soltanifar pointed to the “100 to 105 days annual peak travel time” during which the country’s guest accommodation do not support the number of travelers.

The initiative aims to limit the pressure on hospitality services during peak periods; ICHHTO will offer travel incentives programs and discounts to the retirees and students as measures to encourage traveling during off-peak seasons, he said.

He also announced discounts for railway and air travel during off-peak travel times and said the ticket price for air travel will be reduced from between a third to a quarter during these periods.

The vice president emphasized the importance of organizing domestic passengers based on the time and location of travel and the necessity to increase the number of 4 and 5 star hotels three-folds if the country plans to raise the capacity of tourists up to 20 million a year.

He noted that to compensate for the shortage of facilities to house tourists, hotel “projects with significant progress” have been put forward to the banks to “use funding from the National Development Fund.”

Two airport hotels are under construction around Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA). One of the two which has been jointly funded by Iran Insurance Company and SEMEGA, Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Investment Group Company, will be officially inaugurated on the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on January 9, 2015, Soltanifar said.

He pointed to Espinas hotel III as Iran’s largest hotel project with 527 suites and rooms and the biggest concert hall in the country with the capacity to host 2500 guests.

Hotel Anna in Urumia is another project which will be launched as a five star hotel with 200 rooms. There are currently 1,060 hotels active across the country, 130 of which are 4 and 5 star rated. About 20,000 Bed and Breakfast (or boarding houses) have been recognized by the tourism deputy in ICHHTO and their details listed on an official website launched by the organization specifically for this purpose at:

Soltanifar said so far the information of 11,000 of the boarding houses have been recorded on the website and the rest will be completed by the end of the current calendar year (March 20, 2015).

All registered lodges are under direct supervision of ICHHTO and are obliged to adhere to its regulations and standards.