New Regulations for Tourism Management

New Regulations for Tourism ManagementNew Regulations for Tourism Management

Following years of problems, regulations to manage tourism establishments were ratified last week to turn tourism into a industry with its own set of rules.

Speaking at the inauguration of Eskan Alvand Hotel in Tehran late Saturday, Masoud Soltanifar, the head of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, said the regulations were long overdue, the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad reported.

He added that its details will be announced in 10 days.

“The regulations outline how every tourism-related establishment must be managed and supervised,” he said.

Even though the regulations were approved in 1990, they underwent numerous changes over the years, which made their implementation difficult.

Soltanifar said now that the regulations are finalized and ratified, “everything is clear”.

  Investors Eying Iran

The official pointed to the construction of seven hotels by international hotel chains and said Iran’s lucrative travel market has garnered the attention of foreign investors.

The UAE-based Rotana is planning to open a number of hotels in Iran and France’s leading hotelier, AccorHotels, is involved in at least two four-star hotels in the country.

Another UAE-based hotel chain, Jumeirah Group, and Spain’s Melia Hotels International are reportedly preparing to enter the Iranian market.

In early August, Peter Blackburn, president and CEO of Crista Hotels in the UAE, said the company would be seeking to partner with local firms to expand its portfolio in Iran.

“Encouraging municipalities to remove construction tax on hotel projects is now on the agenda,” he said.

Soltanifar said tourism is the best way to bring the people of the world closer and establish lasting relations.

The official conceded that drawing 5 million tourists during the first half of Iran’s 20-year Vision Plan is not optimal and said to attract 20 million tourists by 2025,  a lot of changes have to made, including the construction of more hotels.

“We only have 130 four- and five-star hotels in Iran, and we need 400. That means we need to build 20 quality hotels per year to meet our goals,” he said.

The UN World Tourism Organization predicts Iran will experience a 6.6% tourism growth in 2015 and the most recent tourism report by the World Economic Forum labeled Iran “the most affordable country to visit”.

A master tourism plan, expected to go into effect in March 2016, has been devised by ICHHTO and outlines measures to help develop the tourism industry, with attention given to specialized tourism, such as health tourism.