Higher Expectations From Hospitality Industry

Higher Expectations  From Hospitality IndustryHigher Expectations  From Hospitality Industry

A month into the summer holidays has brought back an old problem plaguing the Iranian hospitality industry: High hotel prices that turn good-quality accommodation into a dream for low-income families.

When people opt for staying in makeshift tents instead of comfy hotel suites, there clearly is a problem that cannot be ignored.

The most recent statistics date back to the spring of 2014, when 164 million traveled around the country. Of that figure, only 4% chose to stay in hotels.

Ardeshir Arooji, a former deputy for statistics and planning at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, told Tasnim News Agency, “There are ways to reduce hotel prices without hoteliers incurring losses, but is the organization’s tourism deputy doing anything to that end?”

He said people are shocked when they pay a lofty sum to book a room at a five-star establishment only to receive substandard services.

  Accuracy of Hotel Ratings

Arooji emphasized that expert assessment of hotel services and prices is necessary.

“Many of the so-called five-star hotels barely qualify as  four-star lodging facilities. Their services are poor and their staff unhelpful,” he said.

To help reduce prices, Arooji suggested that if three- and four-star hotels command “appropriate but high fees”, ICHHTO could pay subsidies to slash the prices and make hotel stays affordable.

“Offering tax reductions and low-interest loans are other possible measures,” he added.

The former ICHHTO official said aside from Norouz and summer holidays, hotels are empty, and called on the organization to take action.

Arooji said the organization, specifically its tourism deputy, should explain what measures are or will be taken to remedy the situation.

“High prices have made staying at hotels a dream for the working and middle class,” he said.

“People want comfortable accommodation and kids want to see hotels, but they are forced to stay in campsites or tents.”

Competition resulting from the building of more hotels could help reduce prices, but until then ICHHTO must play an active role and make hotel stays a reality for low-income households.