First Airport Hotel, for IKIA More to Come

First Airport Hotel, for IKIA More to ComeFirst Airport Hotel, for IKIA More to Come

Iran’s first airport hotel was inaugurated on February 23, CHTN reported. Located at the Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKIA), it is first in a series of 4 and 5-star airport hotels, containing 1,000 beds and 500 rooms.

The head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism (ICHHTO) Masud Soltanifar attended the inauguration ceremony, along with Majlis members, activists in tourism and economy, and officials from the foreign ministry, road and urban development, and hajj and pilgrimage organization.

Soltanifar considered the hotel in accord with global standards, and attributed the project’s success to the tireless efforts of a dedicated group. “They proved that in spite of various hardships and limitations, ambitious goals are achievable.”

As emphasized by the president and his cabinet, lodging is the country’s major challenge in development of foreign tourism.  So far, among 1,100 hotels in the country, 127 are 4 and 5-star, he said.

Soltanifar referred to the economic decline inherited from the previous government. The government has been trying to save the country from stagnation, he said, adding that fortunately, the tourism sector is coming out of the slump and 930 tourism projects worth $7 billion, are under implementation. The figure indicates a 50% growth in the sector. 90% of the projects are organized by private ownership; the remaining 10% is by government or semi-government organizations.

Some 10% of the National Development Fund of Iran is allocated to projects in industry, agriculture, and tourism. “In advance, we introduced 140 projects to the fund, at a credit totaling about $380m; in the region of 20 projects with a credit of $127m have been approved so far. There are other projects in the pipeline,” Soltanifar said.

Soltanifar appreciated all who contributed to the establishment of the first hotel belonging to the airport hotels group. “The valuable experience, gained in the project, is a treasure, and should be expanded.”

Head of the tourism financial group Mehdi Jahangiri was among the participants. “With efforts on a national scale, we can claim our fair share of global tourism market,” he said.

Tourism brings hope and optimism. It involves individuals at all levels and in all corners of the country. Tourism development should be at the center of economic development, in a quest to move away from our reliance on oil, Jahangiri said.

The largest airport hotel in the country has become operational. “It is pride and joy of Iranian citizens,” Jahangiri said, adding, “from the outset, the project has conformed to international standards.”

A number of experienced contractors from the private sector have expressed their readiness to implement the 2nd phase of the airport development plan, which involves the construction of a terminal with the capacity of 25 million travelers.  The prerequisite to these mammoth efforts is the government’s trust in the private sector, Jahangiri added.