Iran needs at least 400 four- and five-star hotels in the next decade.
Iran needs at least 400 four- and five-star hotels in the next decade.

Hotel Investment Package to Be Unveiled in October

The package includes hotel investment opportunities in each one of Iran’s 31 provinces and aims to encourage foreign investors as well as domestic entrepreneurs
Iran has just over 1,140 hotels, less than 140 of which are four- and five-star establishments

Hotel Investment Package to Be Unveiled in October

Iran’s tourism authority will unveil its highly-anticipated hotel investment package early October at the largest tourism conference of the year in Tehran.
According to a statement published on the official website of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the package will be unveiled at the International Tourism Investment Conference slated for Oct. 2-3 at the Iran International Conference Center and Homa Hotel consecutively.
Ebrahim Salami, the lead organizer of the conference, said the package is the result of months of hard work that brought senior provincial officials together.
“The package provides a detailed account of investment opportunities in the hotel industry,” he said.
It includes investment projects in each one of Iran’s 31 provinces and aims to encourage foreign investors as well as domestic entrepreneurs to build four- and five-star hotels.
Iran has just over 1,140 hotels, less than 140 of which are four- and five-star establishments, which experts and insiders say has stymied the growth of the nascent tourism sector.
Officials aim to increase the country’s inbound tourists by fourfold to 20 million by 2025, a rather ambitious goal but one that authorities feel is achievable, given Iran’s untapped potential.
Observers say Iran needs at least 400 quality lodging facilities to accommodate the projected 20 million travelers.

  They’re Coming
Since the signing of the landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and the six major world powers last year, top international hotel chains have either started making moves or have expressed an interest in entering the Iranian market.
French group AccorHotels became the first foreign branded hotel to set up shop in Iran after the 1979 Islamic Revolution when they opened two hotels–Ibis and Novotel–last October near Imam Khomeini International Airport, 30 km south of Tehran.
Although the UAE-based Rotana was the first international group to sign a deal to open hotels in Iran, Accor beat the Arab firm to the punch, unexpectedly announcing the opening of the two mid-scale hotels.
Rotana, which is building hotels in Tehran and Mashhad, is expected to launch its hotels by 2018.
In March, Spain’s Melia Hotels International announced in a statement that it plans to open a five-star property called Gran Melia Ghoo in a 130-meter tower in Salman Shahr, Mazandaran Province on the Caspian Sea, as early as 2017.
Once the hotel opens, it will become Iran’s first foreign-branded seaside hotel in nearly 40 years.
German and Turkish investors have also struck deals with Iran to build a combined 20 hotels in the next decade, which will go a long way in helping Iran reach its targeted 400 quality hotels.

  There’s More!
The Middle East and North Africa branch of Louvre Hotels Group is close to signing agreements to open three hotels, with the group’s president for the MENA region, Amine Moukarzel, saying in May that the French group is in advanced talks with an unnamed Iranian investor to open a 300-room Royal Tulip-branded hotel in Tehran.
Furthermore, the Dubai-based Shaza Hotel, an affiliate of the prestigious Kempinski Hotel chain, is targeting entry within the next five years to open five hotels in Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Rasht and Mashhad, while two other Emirati hotel operators, Crista Hotels and Jumeirah Group, are reportedly exploring the possibility of investing in Iran.
Still, some of the biggest hotel companies are holding back. UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group, owner of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, currently has no plans to expand to Iran, while US-based Hilton Worldwide Holdings is also holding off, despite seeing “significant potential for hospitality growth”, the company said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg in March.
While the UN, US and European nations lifted sanctions connected to Iran’s nuclear program in January, most American firms are still prohibited from exploring the Iranian market due to other sanctions imposed by Washington on Tehran.


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