Renewed Call for Spreading Out Events

The issue has been broached with First Vice President Es’haq Jahanigiri, but no solutions have been found yet
MICE tourism can lead to the enhancement of tourism economy, especially in the low season.MICE tourism can lead to the enhancement of tourism economy, especially in the low season.
Leisure and business tourists have to wrestle for space in popular cities in the peak travel season

Iran’s tourism authority has again called on organizers to spread their events across the year to help alleviate pressure on foreign tourists that have to wrestle for empty rooms in popular cities in the peak travel season.

Iran’s pleasant weather in spring has in recent years compelled organizers to schedule their events in this season, which happens to be the peak travel season. The congestion of these events has always posed a problem for tourists who are unable to find decent lodging.

Tehran alone hosts around 10 conferences, seminars and expos during the Iranian month of Ordibehesht (which normally falls between April 20 and May 20).

While this has always been a problem, it has become more pronounced since 2013, when the number of inbound tourists began to rise.

According to Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, just over 5 million people visited Iran in 2015, double the 2.5 million that toured the country in 2013.

Earlier this year, many took to social media to voice their grievance and complain about a lack of rooms, while some posted on the Facebook tourism group “See You in Iran” asking Iranian users to help them find accommodation. Some even tried, but failed, to book rooms in hostels.

“We’ve experienced a visible growth in inbound tourism, especially after the signing of the nuclear deal with the world powers (in June 2015),” Morteza Rahmani Movahed, tourism deputy at ICHHTO, told IRNA on Thursday.

“But due to the sheer volume of international events organized by both the public and private sectors in the peak travel season, tourists have no luck in finding rooms.”

The official suggested that spreading out the events across the year and holding them in cities not frequented by tourists would help solve the problem.

Movahed lamented the lack of cooperation of organizers and said ICHHTO has had to take the matter up with First Vice President Es’haq Jahanigiri twice, to no avail.

Evidently, even the organization’s chief, Masoud Soltanifar, has failed to convince event planners, both in the public and private sectors to heed the ICHHTO’s call.

It was reported earlier this year that the organization is preparing a draft program for what is known by industry insiders as MICE travel, which is an acronym for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions. It refers to a specialized niche of group tourism dedicated to planning, booking and facilitating conferences, seminars and other events.

MICE tourism can contribute significantly to the development of a tourist destination. If properly executed, it can lead to the enhancement of tourism economy, especially in the low season, by spacing the events across the year.

Some also argue that it can lead to increased tourism expenditure, as MICE travelers generally spend more money than leisure tourists and in a short period.

MICE travelers also extend their stay after the event and return with their family or friends.