Easing Investment in Tourism Projects

Easing Investment  in Tourism ProjectsEasing Investment  in Tourism Projects

Iranian officials and experts believe no other industry will see a bigger boost than tourism after Iran and P5+1 reached a final nuclear agreement on July 14 in Vienna, Austria.

After the deal, tourism authorities have set ambitious goals for the industry.

The country is expected to attract 20 million tourists annually by 2025, which will rake in $30 billion in revenues and create four million jobs.

Of course, merely promoting Iran’s numerous historical monuments, cultural sites and unspoiled natural landscapes will not help attract investors. Extensive planning is necessary to ensure Iran remains on track to develop its tourism industry.

In an article published on Thursday in the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad, Mahdis Madani, a tourism expert, outlines the steps the government must take to ensure investors finance tourism projects, but also augment investment.

  What Can the Gov’t Do?

Targeting foreign and domestic investors from the private sector must be a priority for the government.  In some cases, the public and private sectors, or domestic and foreign investors, can undertake joint ventures that not only benefit tourists, but also those who reside in tourist areas.

Initially investments need to be focused on infrastructure; projects aimed at offering goods or services can help develop the industry later.

The government has to facilitate investment by issuing long-term permits, reducing bureaucracy involved in all related areas and offering temporary tax exemptions, among others.

Naturally, offering these incentives in a single package could prove more effective. The package could include:

- Rules and regulations for investment (especially for foreign investors)

- A step-by-step guide to applying for permits

- Potential investment projects

- Information about available financial resources

The process involved in successful investment may comprise many steps, but identifying and eliminating shortcomings and presenting different investment options to suit the interest of all investors are possibly the most important step.

Once a shortcoming is identified, experts can discuss ways of addressing the problem, which leads to the formation of a preliminary plan. Further brainstorming to address any problem will consequently turn the plan into a potential investment project.

When a project is presented, potential investors will undoubtedly perform studies to assess its feasibility. At this stage, information provided in the package about available financial resources, e.g. tax exemptions or loans, could help tip the scales in favor of investment.

Reducing red tape involved in applying for a permit is a major obstacle, which can be cut if related government bodies communicate and cooperate more efficiently.

Facilitating investment, especially in the tourism sector, will substantially benefit the national interest. By providing information about investment opportunities, offering financial incentives, reducing paperwork and providing a platform for the public and private sectors to cooperate, the government can help boost the tourism industry, and by extension, the economy.