Booming small businesses can buttress tourism in Iran: official

October 16, 2017

TEHRAN – Empowering small businesses can be used as an initiative which can consequently cater to boom in the country’s travel and hospitality sectors, said Ali-Asghar Mounesan, the director of the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Organization.

“We have pursued [the goal of] promoting small businesses that are associated with the tourism sector in order to benefit from those capacities in the short term until we are able to develop the necessary infrastructure,” CHTN quoted Mounesan as saying on Sunday.

One of the objectives that are being pursued by organization is to take advantage of potentials that are currently accessible in the country and expand them, he added.

“Presently, tourism industry is ranked third in the global economy while the sector accounts for 2400 billion dollars of the world’s gross domestic product,” the official said, adding “The latest figures show that the number of tourists in the world adds up to over 1.2 billion.”

Pointing to the shortage of four and five-star hotels in the country, the official explained: “Many travelers to Iran are interested in staying in historical houses, [mansions and boutique hotels] and eco-lodges so that we can compensate such deficiency that way.”

To help restore ancient buildings and make them profitable, the Revitalization and Utilization Fund for Historical Places provides opportunity for the private sector to cede historical buildings as long as they are repurposed into hotels, restaurants or lodging places.

The sum of private investments in restoration of cultural heritage structures have witnessed a staggering 449% rise over the past four years compared to the previous records, IRNA reported in May.

Iran is home to a large number of old mansions and buildings, which can contribute to its budding tourism industry if managed appropriately and restored carefully.

PHOTO: Foreign travelers pose for a photo during their visit to the UNESCO-registered Persepolis, in southern Iran.

AFM/MG

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