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The star ratings are honorary and don’t reflect the quality of service and amenities.
The star ratings are honorary and don’t reflect the quality of service and amenities.

ICHHTO: Half of Iranian Hotels Substandard

Observers say once foreign hotel chains establish a foothold in Iran, domestic hotels will have no choice but to catch up
For the past decade, Iran has been working toward improving the quality of its hotels, but progress has been slow

ICHHTO: Half of Iranian Hotels Substandard

In yet another sign of the tense relationship between Iran’s tourism authority and hoteliers, a senior official has slammed hotels for their substandard services.
Responding to a question about the quality of hotel services in Iran during a press conference on Saturday, Morteza Rahmani Movahed, tourism deputy at Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism, said it will take a while for hotels across the country to reach acceptable international standards, ISNA reported.
“Less than half of our hotels can claim to meet international standards,” he said, adding that hotel grading in Iran does not follow the norm.
“Provinces in Iran regard star ratings as prestigious, so once a hotel is given a high rating, reducing it becomes nigh on impossible unless their problems become too big to ignore.”
The star ratings are “honorary” and don’t reflect the quality of service and amenities, he added.
For the past decade, Iran has been working toward improving the quality of its hotels, but progress has been slow.
Hoteliers and tourism officials have often clashed on issues ranging from room rates to service quality, but the crux of their problem is that hotel owners believe the ICHHTO intends to exert full control over the industry.
In response, tourism officials say their oversight is necessary because hotels charge a premium without offering the services that go with it. They argue that hotel ratings do not correctly reflect an establishment’s facilities and service quality, a point evident from the tents set up by tourists in parks and camping sites, or the preference for cheap vacation rental. Tourists have no guarantee that they will get their money’s worth during a costly stay in a hotel. Observers say once foreign hotel chains establish a foothold in Iran, domestic hotels will have no choice but to catch up with foreign competitors, or perish.
“When five-star international hotels start operating in Iran, top-rated domestic hotels will shed one or two of their stars,” Mohsen Qarib, chief executive of the Iran Touring and Tourism Investment Company, was quoted as saying by Tasnim News Agency earlier this year.
There are just over 1,100 hotels in Iran, less than 140 of which boast four- and five-star ratings. In order to meet its ambitious goal of hosting 20 million visitors a year by 2025, Iran needs an additional 400 top quality hotels.

 

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