Post-sanctions Iran, flourishing hotel industry beyond expectation: hotelier

February 23, 2016 - 0:0

TEHRAN - It is a reality that the Iranian economy has been relying on petrodollars all over these years. But, energy resources are not there forever and alternative solutions to feed the economy should be proposed. One of these is the hotel industry.

Developing the industry is of great importance as Iran has numerous tourist spots. The aforesaid was a highlight in the remarks of Hesamedin Amiri, the managing direct-cum-owner of Espinas Palace Hotel.

The Tehran Times has sat face-to-face with Mr. Amiri to talk about the hotel and some other relevant issues.

This is the text of the interview:

Tehran Times: Recently Espinas Palace Hotel has been hosting great diplomatic delegations including President Putin of Russia. What is the uniqueness of the hotel?

Mr. Amiri: First of all I express my thanks to the Tehran Times for the session. Espinal Palace Hotel is the third of a chain of Espinas hotels which are at the forefront of the country’s hotel industry. The sea-facing Astara Espinas Hotel, the first of the tripartite chain, was established in Gilan in the 1370s (1990s). The second is Khalij Fars Espinas Hotel, founded in 1377 (1998) in Tehran. The two have been hosting senior officials from around the world. Espinas Palace Hotel was motivated by the country’s needs. The hotel is a unique complex with more than 500 rooms, 6 halls fit for ceremonies and celebrations, 4 restaurants including Mediterranean, Iranian and Western ones, and sports complexes such as billiard and bulling spaces. A unique feature of the hotel is its location, allowing for easy access to two international airports of Tehran. In sum, Espinas Palace Hotel is a city caricature which offers a panoramic view over Tehran. Also, the hotel has a helipad which will be used as the country’s first air taxi. It makes it possible for our foreign guests to fly directly from airport to the hotel.

Tehran Times: Hotel and tourism industries are in a sense inborn partners. Given the country’s new political face, how do you think the building of hotels like Espinas Palace Hotel can help achieve the goals set for the country’s tourism sector?

Mr. Amiri: Tourism is vital for the country since it is an industry with a great turnover, maybe third after oil and automotive industries until recent years. It can have huge economic impact especially when it comes to addressing the issue of unemployment. Our country has a young, educated population. However, tourism flourishes when the infrastructure is provided. Here the importance of hotel becomes clear. All equipment we need to build a hotel is available in the country. It means that when a hotel is built, many other industries are directly and indirectly involved. After construction, also, hotels are a source of employment. So, I believe the industry can be a solution to the country’s unemployment issue. For example, more than 100,000 people have been involved to complete the complex and currently the hotel has more than 500 staff.

Tehran Times: How is the future of the hotel industry influenced by the post-sanctions Iran?

Mr. Amiri: I’m optimistic towards the future and grab the opportunity to tell all embassies in Tehran and international tour guides that we can provide world-class facilities here in Iran and in Espinas Palace Hotel. Although majority of our visiting guests are businessmen now, but I think in the near future more tourists will visit our country. More than 70-80 percent of our guests are foreigners from different nationalities especially Europeans. The increasing number of hotel bookings show that we have a bright future. The post-sanctions era helps us particularly with international banking transactions. I am hearing that Iranian banks are re-joining SWIFT and this is important since many tourists need master cards. Moreover, parts of the delegations coming to Iran are active in the tourism sector and if we introduce Iran as a safe place for investment, in the future they will come to the country and bring with themselves investment.

Highlight: I believe the industry can be a solution to the country’s unemployment issue. For example, more than 100,000 people have been involved to complete the complex and currently the hotel has more than 500 staff.