Expert: Sustainable tourism tied to developing hotel industry
Tehran, Hotels are one of the most important elements in tourism, said the head of the First Exhibition on Hotel, Restaurant, Cafe and Related Industries.
Mohammadreza Safari told Iran Daily that sustainable tourism and a growth in tourism revenues both depend on developing the hotel industry.
Improving the quality and services offered in hotels can create conditions for attracting tourists and their lodging in the country, he added.
Tourism income hardly relies on the duration of tourists' visit, he said.
Turning to particular tourism potentials in Iran, he added that Iran is a four-season country with lots of tourism attractions, diverse climatic conditions as well as religious, historical and recreational sites.
On the country's unique location in the Middle East, he added that Iran is one of top 10 countries in the world in terms of tourism.
He further said: If we can have good planning for tourism and pave the grounds for receiving more tourists, we can earn revenues from the sector which matches oil income and we can witness further improvement in our hotel industry.
He pointed to the interest among foreign investors to construct hotels and accommodations in Iran. Currently, there are some projects in the country which have been carried out through their investments, he noted.
He described government dominance on hotel industry as a weak point and noted that most of four- or five-star hotels are run by the government, he said.
Many hotels largely depend on state support in Iran, whereas, hotel industry is in the control of private sector in other parts of the world, he continued.
Safari said that hotel industry can have lots of benefits for countries with good tourism potentials. Grounds should be prepared for arrival of tourists, he added.
He announced that Tehran will host Exhibition of Hotel, Restaurant, Cafe and Related Industries from August 7 to 10.
Many industries are related to hoteliering and restaurant industry, he said, adding this exhibition encourages tourism officials, importers of hotel equipment and affiliated supplies to play a dynamic role.
One of the most important weaknesses in the hotel industry is the training sector. Therefore, the exhibition will also focus on this issue.
The approach of hotel staff needs to be improved in Iran, while more efforts are required to raise the quality of hotel services, Safari added.
On the tendency to go to the cafes and restaurants in recent years, he said that currently about 4,200 cafes and 4,000 restaurants are active across the city.
More than 30 percent of Tehrani people � aged between 15 and 35 on average � go to cafes across the capital city, he concluded.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA