Now suppose the Emirates Group wants to expand its operations in Iran
|Traditional Restaurant in Tehran|
The importance of tourism in Iran appears obvious when you look at Iran’s potentials and attractions to travelers, while there has been a minimum and next to nothing attention to this field.
According to World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Iran's travel and tourism demand is set to grow by 6.6 percent for the next ten-year period topping the list of Middle East countries. This can be caused by different points which we will discuss now, and then we will back to our main question “How The Emirates Group can expand business in Tourism field?”
Tourism Industry in Iran
Iran’s potential in tourism industry is non-negotiable and obvious. The diversification of climate, nature sceneries and historical attractions are just samples that make Iran incomparable to many other countries in the world.
Iran has jungles, mounts, sea and desert simultaneously in all 4 seasons, which in the top ten countries regarding their income of tourism only United States of America (seed 2) and China (seed 4) have the same opportunity, while US is making 80 Billion USD, which is 20% more than whole Iran’s government’s budget in the current year.
The landscape of Iran is diverse and beautiful, providing a range of activities from hiking and skiing in the Alborz Mountains, to beach holidays by the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea.Visitors
Iran can serve a variety of travelers, regarding the attractions explained:
1. Nature and Eco Tourists
2. Sport tourists: you can Ski in Iran 8 months a year or ride a buggy in the deserts, kiting, mountain climbing, diving etc almost 12 months
3. Medical tourism
Iran is well-known and famous for its surgeons and doctors. CNN reported “Iran: Nose Job Capital of World” in 2006, because of number of beauty surgeries done in the country during past years.
4. Historical tourism
Iran has 4000 years of civilization, which has left lots of historical monuments and attractions.
5. Business travelers
6. Cultural Tourists
Tourism problems and challenges in Iran
Tourism declined dramatically during the Iran–Iraq War in the 1980s and never revived properly afterward. Iranian governors have paid most of their attention to local tourism rather than foreigners. Despite the importance of local tourism which will cause distribution of wealth among Iranian, we have to keep in mind foreign tourism imports money and wealth which is excessively more important to the country’s economy.
|Waterfall in Lorestan|
So the companies which want to establish a tourism business in Iran, or expanding their operations in this field should be prepared for such challenges. Just to give the case an example, in Iran there’s no integrated payment system connected to international banking system. There is a local network between banks called Shetab, which can’t be accessed from Visa, MasterCard etc. and cannot be connected to an Int’l merchant account as well. In Iran there is no online hotel reservation system.
Airlines, Airports and roads are another major problem in Tourism infrastructure. Poor quality of all above means of travelling is clear and undisputed.
Extending infrastructure problems to tourism sites: Iran lacks in public services for tourists. There are no hotels in many small cities despite the potential they have for a long period of visits. There are problems in basic issues like public bathrooms, restaurants, cafes etc.Lack of knowledge in touring and tour guiding is another issue, I consider it structural problem.
in the 3rd part I will discuss the main challenges and opportunities Emirates Group will face in Iran.
Please kindly let me have your comments and feed backs.