Hotel Booking Website Ready

Hotel Booking  Website Ready
Hotel Booking  Website Ready

Iranian hoteliers seem to have finally addressed one of the most visible shortcomings of the travel industry.

The lack of a user-friendly, feature-rich online platform to make reservations has long been considered a major obstacle in Iran’s emerging tourism sector; but as of January 21, the problem will be resolved.

“The platform is ready for launch, but we’ve given lodging facilities across the country until January 21 to submit the necessary paperwork so they can use the system,” Jamshid Hamzehzadeh, president of the Iranian Hoteliers’ Society, said at a meeting on Sunday to unveil the platform.

Emphasizing the importance of facilitating hotel reservations, he said the convenience the new system offers will  help increase bookings.

Hotel reservations and occupancy rates have plunged this year, with many hoteliers blaming the decline on the availability of more affordable alternatives such as vacation rentals.

“The platform will lead to more competitive prices and improved service,” Hamzehzadeh said, according to the Persian daily Donya-e-Eqtesad.

Every licensed facility can use the platform to offer services, regardless of their star rating. So far, 200 hotels have signed up to use the system and the number is expected to rise.

Using the platform is free of charge, “but every facility that uses the website will have to pay a smallfee to keep the website running.”

The platform at will be available in Persian, English and Arabic at launch, and there are plans to add more languages.

  Central Reservation System

The platform is a computerized system, known in the industry as a central reservation system (CRS), which stores and distributes information of a hotel, resort, or other lodging facilities.

“A CRS assists hotel managers in managing their online marketing and sales, allowing them to upload their rates and availabilities to be seen by sales channels that are using the CRS,” said Abbas Bidgoli, an executive advisor at the society.

Sales channels may include conventional travel agencies as well as online travel agencies.

However, travel agencies will not be able to use the platform any time soon.

“We set up the platform to allow for direct contact between hotels and guests, scrapping the need for a middleman,” he said, but was quick to add that the society is considering granting travel agencies access to the system to make reservations.

One of the main objectives of the platform is to reach the global distribution system (GDS).

GDS provides consumers worldwide the ability to book airline tickets and hotel rooms, but since Iran is cutoff from the global banking system due to international sanctions, Iranian businesses do not accept international credit cards.

However, this may soon change thanks to the landmark nuclear deal in July between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany), which imposes curbs on Tehran’s nuclear activities in return for the lifting of crippling sanctions.